Queen on brink after Jamaicans say it’s ‘time to get rid’ of monarch as head of state

Prince Andrew: ‘It’s not looking good’ for Queen says panellist

Her Majesty is head of state not only in the UK but also in another 15 countries.These include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica and several more. However, opposition is mounting in several countries over their desire to become truly independent. Barbados last year expressed its desire to become a republic by its 55th anniversary of independence from the UK, which falls on November 30 this year.

The Caribbean island’s Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason, the Queen’s representative in Barbados, has been nominated for presidency when the country moves to become a republic.

The nomination was confirmed by Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley during an address to the country last month.

Barbados gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966.

Fellow Caribbean island Jamaica gained its independence in 1962, but still has the Queen as head of state.

Vox’s weekly Netflix series ‘Explained’ looked into the monarchy and how it is changing.

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The Queen in Jamaica

The Queen is the Jamaican head of state. (Image: GETTY)

Commonwealth member countries.

Commonwealth member countries. (Image: Express Newspapers)

Carolyn Cooper is an author and professor at the University of the West Indies, based in the Jamaican capital of Kingston.

She said: “I think having the Queen of England as the head of state is really ridiculous in the 21st Century.

“We’re supposed to be a post-colonial country yet we’re hanging on to all of these vestiges of empire.

“It’s time to get rid of the Queen as a head of state.”

A poll by the Jamaica Observer last year found that only 30 percent of Jamaicans supported the Queen remaining as head of state. The figure was a record low.

Carolyn Cooper

Carolyn Cooper is a Jamaican author who favours the Queen no longer being Jamaican head of state. (Image: Netflix)

55 percent of the 1200 respondents said the Queen must go, while the remaining 15 percent said they did not know.

A Jamaican politician is preparing a petition for compensation that will be “presented to the Queen”, it was reported in July.

Jamaica has demanded slavery reparation payments from the Queen, which could run into the billions.

Ms Cooper told Vox: “We must recognise that a grave injustice was done and the legacy of that injustice remains.

“Britain’s wealth was fuelled by slavery.”

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Dr Angela Brown-Burke

Dr Angela Brown-Burke wants Jamaican people to be given their own voice. (Image: Netflix)

She added: “Having the Queen as a head of state is a classic example of mental slavery.

“We need to emancipate ourselves from some of these traditions that bind us to the past and do not enable us to claim full freedom.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey sparked a new debate in Commonwealth nations, the documentary’s narrator said.

Jamaican politician Dr Angela Brown-Burke echoed this sentiment. 

She said: “It has sparked another debate in Jamaica. An individual who ‘rules’ us that doesn’t look like us, that doesn’t sound like us.”

Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret makes a speech at the ceremony granting independence to Jamaica. (Image: GETTY)

The legal procedure of removing Her Majesty as Jamaican head of state, also known as the Queen of Jamaica, is a tricky one.

Legislation must secure a two thirds majority in both of Jamaica’s Houses of Parliament — the Representatives and the Senate — and then must be put to the Jamaican people in a referendum. 

The matter is deemed “very significant” for Jamaica, as Mark Golding, leader of the country’s People’s National Party, told The Independent.

He said: “I think the matters of removing the Queen as our head of state and reparations for slavery are very significant; they’re fundamental to our identity and our nationhood.

“I don’t think one could argue that we are fully independent when our head of state is somebody who lives on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and isn’t a Jamaican.”

He said both his party and the Jamaican Labour Party, which heads up the country’s government, are committed to having a Jamaican person as head of state.

Dr Burke-Brown finished by stressing it is time for the Jamaican people to have their say.

She said: “There is an African saying that ‘until the lion tells the story, we really won’t hear the full story’ because the story is traditionally told by the hunters and not by the lions.

“I think it is time for the story of the lion to be told.”

The documentary’s narrator echoed this: “For most royals, maintaining the fairytale may mean finally facing the full story.”

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