Sonny Ramphal and The QueenShridath Ramphal escorting Queen Elizabeth, as Head of the Commonwealth, at his first Commonwealth Day Reception in March 1976 at Marlborough House, London. [photo: Shridath Ramphal public papers online]

Sir Shridath “Sonny” Ramphal served as Commonwealth Secretary-General from 1975 to 1990. He shared his tribute to The Queen with the Round Table:

Queen Elizabeth was a queen beyond Britain.

As  Head of the Commonwealth, In particular, her sense of caring for its unifying principles and her dutiful commitment  in advancing their discharge, made her a global asset.

For that Commonwealth of 54 countries, her leadership rested not in allegiance but affection.

Having served closely as Commonwealth Secretary General for 15 years, I attribute the Commonwealth’s survival over the years of UDI [Unilateral Declaration of Independence] in Rhodesia and apartheid in South Africa greatly to the Queen’s deep caring for the new Commonwealth she had inherited, and her unqualified sense of duty.

Few remember that it was the Queen who gave Marlborough House – her Grandmother’s home – as a Commonwealth Centre. Such was her caring for her new wider family where this week there will be remembrances of friendly country visits on every continent.

The whole world has benefited from Queen Elizabeth’s life being ‘long’, in the context of her vow of service as her reign began.


Round Table Archives: The 1952 Accession vows and naming a ‘Head of Commonwealth’


Sonny Ramphal and The Round Table:

The Commonwealth through the eyes of Sir Shridath “Sonny” Ramphal – Round Table interview

Sir Shridath Ramphal – 72 years of public life online

The Queen and her stand against racism in the Commonwealth


More tributes to The Queen:

Sir Peter Marshall

Sir Ronald Sanders

Commonwealth nations pay tribute