The Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London was founded in 1949 and Prof Philip Murphy has been its director since 2009.

His major research interest in Intelligence and 20th-century British and Commonwealth history has made him a sought-after expert by the international media. He has written extensively on decolonisation, the development of the modern Commonwealth, and the role of the British monarchy. Since 2007, he has been co-editor of the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

His books, Monarchy and the End of the Empire, and The Empire’s New Clothes: The Myth of the Commonwealth have been praised by academics and the former described by Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph as ‘superbly researched’ and ‘by a country mile the most important and well-informed to have been written about the contemporary British monarchy’.

Commenting on the reaction to The Empire’s New Clothes Philip commented “The greatest hostility has come from people who don’t seem actually to have read the book….They clearly feel that the Institute exists to give academic legitimacy to the Commonwealth project rather than to explore its effectiveness. But as I’ve already suggested, I don’t think polishing halos is a suitable job for the historian.”