No, you read that correctly. The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) is establishing its first branch in the United States in Mississippi. This chapter of the RCS was created to strengthen the commonalities of language, culture and trade the two countries already share.
Though it’s been over 200 years since the United States has had any actual ties with Great Britain, this branch makes the U.S. an associate member of the RCS. Meaning though America and the U.K. are still separate countries, they can form agreements with the U.K. and other member countries post-Brexit.
Surprisingly, some in the U.S. have contacted the RCS about having America join: “We’ve got a number of people [in the United States] who have come to us and said they were interested,” said Tim Hewish, director of policy and research at the RCS. “It’s just a case of seeing whether it works or not and obviously, on our side, we hope that it does,” he added.
Why is this a big deal? The RCS was founded in 1868; The Queen serves as its patron. Out of its 52 member countries, Her Majesty is Head of State of 16 of these nations. Spread across six continents, the population of the RCS is 2.2 billion; that’s three-quarters of the world’s landmass. The Gross Domestic Product is £6.9 trillion. The RCS promotes the rule of law, free trade, democracy and human rights.
Government officials from Great Britain hope to show the EU member countries there will be a better, brighter future post-Brexit. With Great Britain due to leave the EU, the country is working to establish connections with nations outside the EU such as India, Australia, New Zealand, and even the United States. All with the hopes of creating a post-Brexit trade boost.
President Trump and the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May have already discussed a trade deal earlier this year. Nothing can be done until Great Britain exits the EU.
President Trump speaks highly of The Queen, saying how much his mother admired Her Majesty. Trump won’t be visiting the UK until 2018.
Trump’s ally, Phil Bryant, the Governor of Mississippi will serve as the branch’s chairman of the board of governance. He broke the news about this RCS branch via Facebook: “I am delighted the Royal Commonwealth Society is opening its first U.S. branch in Mississippi.
“Britain and our state already have strong economic, military and cultural connections, and I look forward to strengthening those bonds by serving as chairman of the new branch’s board of governance.”
When asked why the RCS created a branch of the organisation in the United States, a spokesman for the RCS emphasised the two countries shared values: “The fraternal links between the UK and the USA are strong and well-established, beyond our language, common legal systems and common interests,” the spokesman said.
“In a similar vein, the US has natural connections based on language, culture, commerce and security, with a breadth of Commonwealth countries.
“The establishment of a Branch of the RCS in the US will serve to strengthen these links to mutual advantage.”
One obvious advantage is with the recent engagement announcement between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the United States of America will have a link to the British Monarchy, which in itself is not something to scoff at. Everyone in the world knows who The Queen is. Charities here in the U.S. could possibly benefit from royal patronage in the future.
Does this mean members of the Royal Family will travel or perform public engagements in the U.S.? That remains unknown, but it could be likely in the future.
The economies of both the U.S. and the U.K. could both benefit. The ‘Kate Effect’ along with those of Prince George and Princess Charlotte has also affected the fashion industry. It’s not too far-fetched to estimate that Meghan Markle’s style will continue to also have an impact. And if she utilises American and Canadian designers, there could also be a spike in sales as well.
Tourism to the U.S. could also improve, particularly places where Meghan has lived and/or attended school or worked.
This is a new era for The Royal Family, and the United States will directly or indirectly benefit from this American RCS branch and with the addition of Meghan to the Royal Family.