Jamaica’s plans for the Republic: what’s next for the Commonwealth?

Jamaica aims to become a fully independent country, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced during a visit to the Commonwealth nation by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

“We’re moving on,” Holness told reporters in the capital, Kingston, as the Duke and Duchess stood by his side. “We intend to… fulfill our true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed and prosperous country.”

When the former British colony detaches itself from it the monarchyit would be the second Caribbean island to sever ties with Queen Elizabeth II in recent months Barbados did so in November.

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Holness’s announcement “takes many by surprise on the island,” he said Independentand “unleashed a flurry of text messages and phone calls” as the island’s three million residents reacted to the news.

Holness revealed the news after Independent had also reported that the country had “already begun the process of removing the Queen as head of state,” a process that would continue once the royal visit was over.

In an exclusive for the news site, racial correspondent Nadine White reported that the matter was recently discussed at “the highest level” in government and that “a senior figure within government has been appointed with the primary aim of seeing the nation’s transition to a republic.” Status”.

A source told White: “The government had to start the process; The road to the Republic is not an easy one, but they have long been under significant pressure to do so.”

The Cambridges Royal voyage through the CaribbeanWidely dubbed a “charm offensive” as other Caribbean Commonwealth countries consider keeping the Queen as their head of state, it was dogged by “anti-colonialism” demonstrations and calls for slavery reparations.

The Duke and Duchess were forced to cancel a visit to a farm in Belize after complaints from locals, while on arrival in Jamaica 350 activists gathered outside the British High Commission and held signs reading “Princesses and princes belong in fairy tales… not after.” Jamaica “held” and “sorry”.

At a dinner hosted by the Governor-General of Jamaica on Thursday, Prince William expressed his “deep sadness” at Britain’s role in the slave trade, saying slavery “should never have happened” and “stains forever our history”.

Is the Commonwealth in Danger?

The Cambridges’ “somewhat awkward” reception shows “how much the perception of the monarchy has changed,” he said The Telegraph.

The royal visit coincided with “a rising tide of republicanism” in the Caribbean, and while Prince William may have done his best in his speech to “ward off anti-colonial attacks”, it could all be “too little too late”. “, says the newspaper.

“Is monarchy fast becoming an anachronism in the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Commonwealth? And will the Commonwealth itself soon be a thing of the past – not just when the Queen sadly leaves, but even before that, if other countries follow Barbados and remove her as head of state?” asked the Telegraph’s Harry Mount.

“Kate and Wills are a bunch,” columnist Janice Turner wrote in The times. But “the fault lies with the palace”, which is “as always insensitive to social change”. “Sending the Royal A-Team” on a tour of the Caribbean “will not prevent Jamaica or 14 other former British colonies from becoming republics,” Turner said. “Indeed, angry princes only remind people that they are still subjects of a distant queen.”

And the legacy is ’embarrassing’ for Britain too. “In a modern Commonwealth, we should treat these democratic nations as equals, without colonial cosplay. Kate and Wills must be self-aware enough to see that their visit not only upsets Caribbean Republicans but makes the rest of us cringe,” she concluded.

If the “palpable animosity” towards the tour was “a shock” for the royals, “they may not have been paying attention,” said Emma Loffhagen in the evening standard. She noted that there has been a “generational change” in Jamaica over the past decade. According to polls ten years ago, 60% of Jamaicans supported the Queen. Now 55% want to cut ties with her.

And “with the wounds of the Windrush scandal still fresh and burning, coupled with global anti-colonial sentiment fueled by the Black Lives Matter movement,” perhaps it’s “no wonder” that Jamaicans “reconsider what they get out of the Commonwealth deal”. .

https://www.theweek.co.uk/commonwealth/956219/jamaicas-republic-plans-what-next-for-the-commonwealth Jamaica’s plans for the Republic: what’s next for the Commonwealth?

Fry Electronics Team

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