Queen Elizabeth II has been the head of state of Jamaica for years, but the country wants to move on from the monarchy. Prime Minister Andrew Holness told Prince William and Middleton their plans to be an independent nation during the royal couple's visit on Wednesday.
Jamaica Wants To Remove Queen Elizabeth As Its Head Of State And Be Free From Monarchy
Prince William and Kate Middleton received a warm welcome in Jamaica. However, the nation also expressed its desire to be truly independent of
the British monarchy.
"We're very, very happy to have you and we hope you've received a warm welcome of the people," Holness said as quoted by People to directly address his country's desire to be independent of the monarchy.
"Jamaica is a very free and liberal country and the people are very expressive —and I'm certain that you would have seen the spectrum of expressions yesterday," he continued referencing the warm welcome in Trench Town and the protest calling for slave reparations.
He continued, "There are issues here, which, as you know, are unresolved, but your presence gives us an opportunity for those issues to be placed in context, to be out front and center and to be addressed as best we can. But Jamaica is, as you would see, is a country that is proud of its history and very proud of what we have achieved. And we're moving on and we intend to… fulfill our true ambitions and destiny to become an independent, developed and prosperous country."
Queen Elizabeth Being Head Of State In Nations That Want To Be Independent Prompts Tensions During Caribbean Tour
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kicked off their eight-day tour of the Caribbean in Belize last weekend. They had to cancel their first stop in the country because the villagers in Indian Creek staged a protest about colonialism.
Prince William and Middleton face mounting tensions as they continue their royal tour to Caribbean nations, where the Duke of Cambridge's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, remains the head of state.
Outside the U.K., Her Majesty is the head of state in 14 nations around the world, including Belize, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. For the protesters, the arrangement is so outdated.
"It is important as we turn 60 years old as an independent nation that we stand as 'adults' on solid ethical, moral and human justice grounds," Norah Blake, the co-organizer of a protest in Jamaica, told The Independent, "to say to Britain, who was once our 'parent,' that you have done wrong in enriching yourselves off of chattel slavery and colonialism."
Prince William and Middleton were reportedly aware of the situation and protests. Barbados recently broke ties with the Queen in November and became independent by voting its first president.
Prince Charles visited the country and even delivered a speech in a ceremony that saw Barbados become a republic. According to Blake, they are moving forward, and an apology for such atrocities and reparations are necessary.
"Today we are setting the conversation of our future generations, for them to have something to build a brighter future," she said.
Stay tuned for more news and updates about the royal family.