During his April visit, Prince Edward, the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II, was informed by the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda that his island, one of 15 where the British queen is head of state, aspired to “one day” become a republic.
After the death of the queen the other week, PM Gaston Browne announced a timeline: “probably” within the next 3 years, he would call a referendum on abolishing the monarchy.
According to Browne’s statement to ITV News, this “last move to close the circle of independence” is not an act of enmity.
Several Commonwealth kingdoms are reevaluating their connections with the crown in the wake of Elizabeth’s death since she was a more uniting figure unlike her child, King Charles III.
The Commonwealth is a group of 56 countries, most of which are republics, and its leaders all mourned the passing of their monarch. While this is true, many of these former colonies have also been publicly confronting the consequences of colonialism via initiatives like atonement, reparations, and independence movements.
The question of what we should be doing with a British, distant, White king like Charles at the helm has been thrust into the spotlight with his recent ascension. UC London Caribbean history associate professor Kate Quinn remarked.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Jamaica are the only other countries left. In the Caribbean, in which the BLM movements and the recent controversy over Britain’s handling of refugees out from the British West Indies following World War II have shined a sharp focus on the crimes of empire, this discussion had already been raging for some time before Elizabeth’s death.
Charles spoke out against the “appalling evil of slavery” and applauded islanders for creating their own path “with incredible courage” after Barbados abolished the monarchy and inaugurated its first president last November.
In addition, there were royal visits this year.
William and Catherine were representing Queen Elizabeth in the Caribbean for the Platinum Jubilee, and their visit was greeted with demonstrations and demands for apologies and compensation for slavery. In 1962, Elizabeth & Prince Philip were seen traveling in an open-top Land Rover, which evoked a sense of the colonial era.
William used the word “abhorrent” to describe slavery when in Jamaica, but he did not offer an apology. Andrew Holness, the prime minister of Jamaica, recently said that the country was “moving on” from the monarchy.
(Last week, Holness prayed for the British people “as they lament the passing of their beloved Queen” and recalled that Elizabeth had been a “dear friend” of Jamaica. Unrecognized: she also ruled Jamaica as queen. Several neighboring states have shown an interest in emulating Barbados’s example. The question of whether or not the Central American country of Belize should become a republic is one of several issues that a constitutional reform panel is preparing to examine.
He told The Washington Post, “within our area, there is a significant movement toward coming back home the head of state.” Henry Usher is the ministry of constitutional and legislative reform in Belize. For me, it’s crucial that the leader of our country not be thousands of kilometers away and unaware of what’s going on in the area where he or she is not directly involved. That the citizens are sovereign is the Caribbean’s rallying cry.
Last Monday, Philip Davis of the Bahamas reminded the Nassau Guardian that a republican transition vote is “always on the table.” When The Post inquired about the specific time, a spokesperson said the chancellor was in mourning for 10 days and would not speak more.
“The voices are becoming louder,” Quinn stated. I believe that the conditions are ripe for the suggested reforms to take hold at this time in history because a number of elements are converging to produce favorable conditions for them.
Elizabeth and Philip set off on a six-month trip to the Commonwealth shortly after her coronation in 1953, when the British Empire was already on the decline.
The New Zealand native made the remarks on Christmas Day, contrasting the Commonwealth with “the Empires of the past.”
She said that this new idea was founded on the finest aspects of the human spirit, such as friendship, loyalty, and the pursuit of freedom and peace. To that new idea of a partnership between countries and races on equal footing, I will devote every waking moment of my life.
Throughout the early decades of her rule, several imperial territories rebelled and proclaimed their independence. Multiple countries established republican governments.
However, the effects of imperialism continued long after the British Empire collapsed. Inequalities in income, education, and health care are said to have their origins in colonialism, according to historians and reparations activists.
Breaking links with the monarchy, however, is often much easier said than done. Since the region’s independence, almost every constitutional reform committee has advocated for the establishment of republics. Several national leaders have also promised to make their countries republics, but have so far been unable to accomplish so.
While Usher has said that the government intends to conduct a referendum on changes resulting from the constitutional review, the monarchy in Belize may be abolished by law in the same way that it was in Barbados. A referendum may be required under the constitution of certain countries, while a supermajority may be needed in others.
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