It’s a favourite holiday destination of royals William and Kate – but it’s no longer part of their domain.
The Maldives government says it has decided to leave the Commonwealth because the grouping of former British colonies has treated it “unjustly and unfairly” and sought to interfere in its politics.
The statement on Thursday by the Foreign Ministry comes weeks after the Commonwealth threatened the country with suspension if it failed to show progress in key democratic governance issues by next March.
It said the Commonwealth seemed to think Maldives could be used as an easy way to increase the organisation’s relevance and leverage in international politics.
The island nation in the Indian Ocean became a multiparty democracy in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule.
President Yameen Abdul Gayoom has been accused of erasing much of the democratic gains since being elected in 2013.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are among the rich and famous faces to spend time in luxury accommodation on the archipelago, including a break without Prince George ahead of their tour of Australia and New Zealand two years ago.