President Trump has had a lot to say about England, and it looks like the Queen has taken notice.
According to a report from The Telegraph, the Royal Commonwealth Society is planning to open an office in the United States soon, with hopes that they could one day woo the U.S. into joining as an “associate member,” and reports indicate that Queen Elizabeth II may be the driving force behind the move.
Established in 1949, the Royal Commonwealth Society is a group of states that had previously been a part of the British Empire. The group describes itself as:
“...an association of governments and peoples, built around shared language, institutions, challenges, aspirations and values. Unlike most other international associations, the Commonwealth works on a consensus model and membership is voluntary, predicated primarily on a country’s commitment to upholding shared values and principles, including the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”
Although he wouldn't explicitly say that he was working on orders from the Queen, the director of the Royal Commonwealth Society explained the Queen's role, saying:
“The Queen is our patron and I see her from time to time, and she makes it clear to me that the Commonwealth is a priority to her.”
President Trump hasn't been shy about expressing his fondness for England, and he vocalized his desire to expand ties with them during his January meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May, saying:
“Great days lie ahead for our two peoples and our two countries.”
Prime Minister May echoed the president's sentiments and discussed the strong historical bond between the two nations. She said:
“And, as you say, the invitation is an indication of the strength and importance of the special relationship that exists between our two countries, a relationship based on the bonds of history, of family, kinship and common interests.”
In addition to strengthening ties with England, joining the Commonwealth would certainly open many doors for President Trump in the international arena. As a loosely formed intergovernmental organization made up largely of former territories of Great Britain, the Commonwealth provides many opportunities for cooperation between its member states without binding them to obligations for one another.
With the criticism President Trump has levied towards NATO, a less formal alliance where the United States could pick and choose which members it works with would seem like a perfect fit. Of course, the Commonwealth couldn't replace NATO, but it would be a beneficial relationship to supplement existing relationships with foreign countries with virtually no drawbacks.
The Telegraph also reports that Nigel Farage, the driving force behind the “Brexit” movement, is playing a key role in inviting the United States to join the Commonwealth. Farage has been close with President Trump recently, and reportedly talked up the idea with senior aides to the president.
In the wake of their decision to leave the European Union, England may look to strengthen ties outside of Europe. It looks like the Commonwealth may be instrumental in those efforts.