This portrait trail marked the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London. The Commonwealth is a diverse community of nations that work together to promote prosperity, democracy and peace.
Harold Moody moved to England from Kingston, Jamaica in 1904. He studied medicine at King’s College, London, but was refused work because of his skin colour. He was active in early campaigns to overturn such ‘colour bars’. The artist, Ronald Moody, was Harold’s brother and arrived in England from Jamaica in 1923. Jamaica joined the Commonwealth upon gaining independence from Britain in 1962.
In 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of an Independent India. India, which had been under British Rule since the nineteenth century, joined the Commonwealth on gaining independence in 1947.
When Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne in 1952, the Commonwealth leaders recognised her as Head of the Commonwealth. This role has great symbolic value and underlines the Commonwealth as a family of nations. Her Majesty has made numerous visits to Commonwealth countries and attends Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings. In addition to the UK, Elizabeth II is monarch of fifteen Commonwealth Realms.
by Ian Homer Walters, 2008, based on a work of 2001, NPG 6868
South Africa joined the Commonwealth in 1931, left in 1961 and rejoined in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela who was President from 1994–9. Mandela’s promotion of racial equality at home and abroad inspired change on a global level. His work was recognized with over 250 international honours, including membership of the British Order of Merit.