Jamaica ‘Already Begun’ Process of Becoming Republic as Islanders Meet William & Kate With Protests

© REUTERS / TOBY MELVILLEBritain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit Trench Town on the fourth day of their tour of the Caribbean, in Kingston, Jamaica, March 22, 2022
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visit Trench Town on the fourth day of their tour of the Caribbean, in Kingston, Jamaica, March 22, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.03.2022
The Caribbean island nation of Barbados, a former colony of Britain, became a republic in November 2021 on the 55th anniversary of its independence, retiring Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and breaking with its colonial history.
After former British colony Barbados was declared a republic in 2021, retiring Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, Jamaica is now ready to follow suit, reported The Independent.
With the issue recently discussed at the “highest level” in government, the mountainous island in the Caribbean Sea has already appointed a senior figure tasked with overseeing the nation's transition to republic status, according to political sources cited by the outlet.
“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,” an insider was quoted as confirming.
The Jamaican government has embarked upon “a long and arduous process” that is to be completed by 6 August - the 60th anniversary of the nation’s independence from the UK, added a report by BAZAAR.com.
According to a cited senior government official, it would be “full steam ahead in the coming weeks and months” to work on plans to uncouple from the UK, despite “some pushback” from members of parliament.
However, as there are no plans for a referendum, required under Jamaica's constitution, unlike in Barbados which made the change via an act of parliament, there is no clarity as to the plans, added sources.
Back in December 2021, Marlene Malahoo Forte, Jamaica's former attorney general at the time, was quoted by Jamaica Observer as saying she had received instructions from Prime Minister Andrew Holness to reform the constitution to become a republic.

‘Reparations & Apologies’

Reports of a planned transition of Jamaica to a republic come as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were accused of benefitting from the “blood, tears and sweat” of slaves as they touched down on the Caribbean island on Tuesday.
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, laugh during their visit to Hopkins, a small village on the coast which is considered to be cultural centre of the Garifuna community in Belize, amid a tour of the Caribbean, March 20, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2022
Prince William and Kate Middleton Show Off Their Dancing Skills in Belize - Photos
The couple is on a Caribbean tour to Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas from 19 March to 26 March in celebration of the Queen’s platinum jubilee. The trip has been dubbed a royal “charm offensive” seeking to dissuade other ex-British colonies from following the example of Barbados, which became the latest country to ditch the Queen as head of state in November 2021 while addressing “the atrocity of slavery”.
As the royals arrived for an official meeting with the Governor General of Jamaica Patrick Allen after touching down, at least 350 activists gathered outside the British High Commission building, assembled by Jamaican human rights advocate Opal Adisa, calling for the monarchy to pay reparations for slavery and human rights abuses.
The Bahamas National Reparations Committee also released a statement demanding a “full and formal apology,” adding: “The time is now for reparations.”
One placard reportedly read:
“Kings, Queens and Princesses and Princes belong in fairytales not in Jamaica!”
Prince William was aware of the protests and would acknowledge the issue of slavery in a speech on Wednesday during a dinner hosted by the Governor General of Jamaica, a royal source was cited as saying.
Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a special reception in celebration of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, hosted by the Governor General of Belize Froyla Tzalam, on the third day of their tour of the Caribbean, at the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech, Belize, March 21, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.03.2022
Prince William, Kate Middleton's Jamaica Visit May Be Marred By Calls For 'Atonement & Reparations'
Furthermore, an open letter, that reads, “We will not participate in your Platinum Jubilee celebration!” has been signed by over a hundred prominent Jamaicans.
It accused British royals of perpetrating “the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind,” offering a 60-point breakdown of reasons why “apology and reparations” are warranted.
“You, who may one day lead the British monarchy, are direct beneficiaries of the wealth accumulated by the Royal family over centuries, including that stemming from the trafficking and enslavement of Africans. You, therefore, have the unique opportunity to redefine the relationship between the British monarchy and the people of Jamaica. If you choose to do so, we urge you to start with an apology and recognition of the need for atonement and reparations,” stated the letter.
Earlier on in their tour, the couple’s visit to Belize was similarly marred by protests, with a visit to a cacao farm scrapped following a protest by local residents about the royal family’s colonial ties, as well as plans to land a helicopter in a community sports field “without permission”.
Barbados President Sandra Mason stands after being sworn in at the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony to mark the birth of a new republic in Barbados at Heroes Square in Bridgetown, Barbados, November 30, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.11.2021
A New Republic Is Born as Barbados Cuts Cord with UK Monarchy, Ditches Elizabeth II As Head of State
Currently, the Queen is head of state of 15 countries in the Commonwealth realm, including the UK. The other nations are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The monarch, 95, is also recognised as head of state in a number of overseas territories belonging to the UK, Australia and New Zealand, which are not in the Commonwealth, such as Gibralta, the Falkland Islands, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
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