Jamaica Moves to Drop Queen Elizabeth as Head of State
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal tour of the Caribbean in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee continues to encounter resistance as a movement to remove the monarch as head of state of Jamaica is reportedly gaining traction.
According to The Independent, “a coalition of Jamaican politicians, business leaders, doctors and musicians” are pressing for the country to formally sever ties with the monarchy and change the country’s status from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
The coalition has also sent an open letter to Prince William and Kate Middleton, who landed in Jamaica Tuesday afternoon.
Ahead of the island nation’s 60th year of independence from Great Britain on Aug. 6, campaigners are intent on “removing the shackles of [Jamaica’s] colonial past,” according to the report, with many in the country demanding both financial reparations and a formal apology from the monarchy.
The royals have encountered the calls for separation firsthand on this visit, canceling one event in Belize over the weekend amid protests.
More demonstrations are expected in Jamaica in the coming days, including one on Tuesday in the capital city of Kingston organized by the Advocates Network, a human rights coalition of Jamaican activists and equalities organizations.
The week-long tour of the Caribbean was intended to have a festive mood in the months between when monarch marked 70 years on the throne in February and when her official Jubilee begins in June — a fact pointedly referenced by Jamaican leaders in their open letter.