Jamaica has reportedly begun to remove Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state.
According to The Independent, an unnamed political source reportedly said that a senior figure within the island’s government was appointed to ensure it would transition into a republic. For many years, it has been a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.
“The government has had to start the process. The road to becoming a republic is not an easy one, but they have long been coming under significant pressure to do it,” another political source added, the outlet said.
The news came just four months after the island of Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth II as their reigning monarch and inaugurated their first president, Dame Sandra Mason, in 2021.
Removing the queen as Jamaica’s head of state has not only begun, but it is also set to continue following her grandson, Prince William, and his wife, Kate Middleton’s visit to the nation. They arrived on Mar. 22, amid protests from some of the country’s natives demanding the British royal family pay them reparations for slavery. At least 350 demonstrators reportedly protested outside the British High Commission with picket signs that asked them to apologize for the historical atrocity.
“Princesses and Princes belong in fairytales…NOT in Jamaica,” read one sign held by a young girl at the protest in Kingston.
“Princesses and Princes belong in fairytales…NOT in Jamaica”. These were the words on a placard from a young girl at the protest at the British High Commission in St Andrew. #RoyalVisit pic.twitter.com/7VGCDNVgiA
— Jamaica Observer (@JamaicaObserver) March 22, 2022
Dancehall legend, Anthony “Beenie Man” Moses Davis has also been critical about the royal’s visit to his country.
“We are just here, controlled by the British, ruled by the British law when you go inna di court, it’s all about the Queen and the Queen serve and the Queen this and that – but what are they doing for Jamaica? They’re not doing anything for us,” he claimed on a recent episode of Good Morning Britain.
At a state dinner hosted by the governor-general of Jamaica, Patrick Allen, on Mar. 24, Prince William reportedly responded to the protests saying slavery was “abhorrent.”
“I want to express my profound sorrow…Slavery was abhorrent, and it should never have happened,” he said.
He added that it “forever stains our history,” and “while the pain [from slavery] runs deep, Jamaica continues to forge its future with determination, courage, and fortitude.”
The island’s prime minister, Andrew Holness, previously tweeted that he told the prince about Jamaica’s plans to pursue its goals as an independent country.
“In this our 60th year of Independence, we are very proud of our history and what we have so far achieved. However, we recognize that there is much more to be done to realize our true potential as a nation,” he wrote. “I expressed to the Duke that in this regard, it is inevitable that we will move towards becoming a republic in fulfillment of the will of the people of Jamaica and our ambitions of becoming an independent, developed, and prosperous country.”
(4/4) I expressed to the Duke, that in this regard, it is inevitable that we will move towards becoming a republic in fulfillment of the will of the people of Jamaica and our ambitions of becoming an independent, developed and prosperous country.
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) March 23, 2022
Jamaica was declared an independent nation on Aug. 6, 1962, after 300 years of British colonial rule. To celebrate its 60th independence anniversary, officials have planned to observe their national holiday with an exciting theme titled, ‘Reigniting a Nation for Greatness.’ As such, they will hold several cultural events for the island’s annual Diamond Jubilee.