The Commonwealth: Who Needs Mother?

Leaders of 18 nations on five continents gathered last week in the red-walled, blue-carpeted conference room of London's Marlborough House. More than ever before, the faces around the oval table at this year's Commonwealth Prime Ministers' meeting reflected the divergent interests and cultures represented in the network of free nations that has evolved from the British Empire: only five were white, and the other 13 represented every shade of skin from ivory-yellow through burnt umber to the blue-black of Africa's heartland.

There were those who wondered whether Britain could much longer dominate...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!