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British Prime Ministers


53 People in group

Leader of Her Majesty's Government, the Prime Minister is responsible for policy and decision making of the government. A key figure in the House of Commons, appointing members of the government and administering the Civil Service and government agencies. The prime Minister is the leader of the political party that holds the largest number of seats in the chamber and appointed by the Queen under constitutional conventions. The role was not established by constitutional document but instead has evolved over the past 300 years. The overthrow of King James II during the Revolution of 1688 created a shift in the power dynamic and resulted in monarchs becoming more dependent on parliament. Robert Walpole is cited as the first modern Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury. By 1805 the Times newspaper began to use the term Prime Minister and it was used in parliamentary debates. By 1918 the Prime Minster had the authority to request dissolution of Parliament by the monarch to trigger a general election. In the same year, 10 Downing Street became the official residence.

Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee

Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee

1883-1967
Prime Minister
Sitter in 49 portraits
(Robert) Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon

(Robert) Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon

1897-1977
Prime Minister
Sitter in 42 portraits
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin

Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin

1867-1947
Prime Minister
Sitter in 72 portraits
Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour

Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour

1848-1930
Prime Minister and philosopher
Sitter in 135 portraits
Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield

Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield

1804-1881
Prime Minister and novelist
Sitter associated with 110 portraits
Anthony Charles Lynton ('Tony') Blair

Anthony Charles Lynton ('Tony') Blair

1953-
Prime Minister
Sitter in 15 portraits
(James) Gordon Brown

(James) Gordon Brown

1951-
Prime Minister
Sitter in 7 portraits
James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff

James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff

1912-2005
Prime Minister
Sitter in 21 portraits
David William Donald Cameron

David William Donald Cameron

1966-
Prime Minister
Sitter in 3 portraits
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman

1836-1908
Prime Minister
Sitter in 29 portraits
George Canning

George Canning

1770-1827
Prime Minister
Sitter associated with 50 portraits
(Arthur) Neville Chamberlain

(Arthur) Neville Chamberlain

1869-1940
Prime Minister; son of Joseph Chamberlain
Sitter in 45 portraits
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

1708-1778
Prime Minister
Sitter associated with 33 portraits | Artist associated with 1 portrait
William Ewart Gladstone

William Ewart Gladstone

1809-1898
Prime Minister and writer
Sitter associated with 319 portraits
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey

1764-1845
Prime Minister
Sitter associated with 178 portraits
Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford

1732-1792
Prime Minister
Sitter associated with 64 portraits
Sir Edward Heath

Sir Edward Heath

1916-2005
Prime Minister
Sitter in 62 portraits