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Republican aspirations back in British Caribbean | Death of Queen Elizabeth II

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Thus, the death of the monarch has added grist to the mill of republican movements in this region once part of the British Empire, and where calls continue to be heard for the Crown to apologize for its role. in slavery and colonization.

That idea has entered into normal, “common sense” discourse as a wider section of society grapples with these questions and asks, “What has the monarchy ever done for us?”says Kate Quinn, associate professor of Caribbean history at University College London.

Republicanism was a Caribbean reality before the end of the second Elizabethan era, says Kate Quinn, but his death and the accession of Charles [au trône, NDLR] added momentum to the debate.

Antigua and Barbuda became the first country to discuss the idea of ​​a republic after the death of the queen, when its prime minister Gaston Brown said in the press that he hoped for a referendum on the question within three years.

His counterpart in the Bahamas, without giving a deadline, said he had a similar project.

For me it’s still on the table […] I will have to organize a referendum and that the Bahamian people say “Yes” to me. »

A quote from Philip Davis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas

The latter made this statement the day after the death of Elizabeth II, according to the local newspaper Nassau Guardian.

And Jamaica is also considering turn the pageas its Prime Minister Andrew Holness told Prince William during his sometimes-criticized Caribbean tour earlier this year.

Follow the example of Barbados

They all follow in the footsteps of Barbados, formerly known as the little englandwhose ruling Labor party last year approved a constitutional amendment stripping the Queen of her status as head of state.

For the people of Antigua, this example is both inspiring and circumspect.

Barbados just became a republic and they’re doing pretty wellentrusts to theAFP Kelly Richardson, stylist in the capital of Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John’s.

For him, the Caribbean would be more united, stronger if the other kingdoms – Jamaica, Bahamas, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Belize – became republics.

But others wonder if Antigua and Barbuda would take this path if Barbados had not taken it?

Was this on the agenda before Barbados took the leap? I just feel like no, so it worries mesaid another resident, Reul Samuel.

Prince William’s difficult tour in March was followed by a visit by Elizabeth’s youngest son, Prince Edward, who had to cancel a stop in Grenada after pro-republic protests.

A poll conducted in Barbados before the regime change showed that with the exception of Prince Harry (41% favorable), the rest of the royal family (not including Elizabeth II) hovered below 20. % popularity rating.

The British monarchy challenged

The recent questioning of the role of the British monarchy must be understood in the broader context of demands for reparations, the Royal Family’s lack of apology for the monarchy’s role in the historic crimes of slavery and colonialism and their consequences todayamong others, details historian Kate Quinn.

King Charles III denounced the terrible atrocity of slavery, that will forever mark our history.

In Jamaica, William echoed his father, expressing his deep sorrow against these practices hateful. This should never have happenedhe said.

But no formal apology has been made so far.

Republican leanings seem more pronounced in Caribbean nations that have already achieved political independence from Britain.

It seems unlikely that the Queen’s death will push Britain’s overseas territories – the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat and Bermuda – to seek independence, according to Kate Quinn.

Anyway, the decision must be taken by the people, not the politiciansBermuda’s former prime minister John Swan, who stepped down as leader of his party after independence was overwhelmingly rejected in a 1995 referendum, told AFP.

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