Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary) is the Queen of 16 of the 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations. She is Head of the Commonwealth and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Upon her accession on 6 February 1952, Elizabeth became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. Her coronation service the following year was the first to be televised. From 1956 to 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and some realms became republics. Today, in addition to the first four of the aforementioned countries, Elizabeth is Queen of Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The Union of South Africa was founded as a dominion of the British Empire. It was governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with the British monarch represented by a governor-general. The Union came to an end when the 1961 constitution was enacted. On 31 May 1961 the nation became a republic, under the name Republic of South Africa.