There has been a growing movement in several former British colonies in recent years to distance themselves from the British monarchy. Two countries that have been at the forefront of this movement are Jamaica and Belize. Both countries have expressed their desire to sever their ties with the British monarchy and become republics.
Jamaica, the third-largest island in the Caribbean, gained independence from Britain in 1962 but has maintained the Queen as its head of state. In March 2022, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, announced to Prince William that the country intended to become a republic. Holness argued that becoming a republic would symbolize Jamaica’s independence and allow the country to embrace its cultural identity fully.
In March of this year, Andrew Holness set up a reform committee to transition away from the British monarchy, “There are many legal steps that we have to go through, and there is the matter of a referendum, the outcome of which no one can predict” he said.” “But we’re moving on, and we intend to fulfill our true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed prosperous country”.”
Belize, a small Central American country that was once known as British Honduras, gained independence from Britain in 1981 but maintained the Queen as its head of state. Belize’s Prime Minister, John Briceño, has now announced plans to hold a referendum on whether the country should become a republic. Briceño stated that Belize needed to cut ties with the British monarchy to fully assert its sovereignty and independence.
Cultural critics argue that the monarchy is a symbol of colonialism and represents an outdated system of governance that has no place in modern society. Other critics argue that maintaining the monarchy is a form of subservience to Britain and that it undermines the countries’ independence.
There are also those who argue that the monarchy has positively influenced Jamaica and Belize.
The Queen made several visits to both countries over the years, and her visits have been seen as a symbol of goodwill and friendship between the two nations. The monarchy provides a sense of stability and continuity that some argue would be lost if Jamaica and Belize were to become republics.
The debate over whether Jamaica and Belize should become republics is likely to continue in the coming months and years. Both countries will need to consider the practical implications of severing their ties with the British monarchy. This includes the need to create a new head of state and the potential impact on international relations.
The desire for greater independence and the symbolism of becoming republics may ultimately prove to be more important than these practical considerations.
Jamaica and Belize’s threats to cut ties with the British monarchy are part of a broader movement in former British colonies to assert their independence and cultural identity. The decision to become a republic will be up to the people of Jamaica and Belize. It will be interesting to see how the referendum in both countries shape up.
As Jamaica and Belize prepare to cut ties with the monarchy, let’s take a closer look at the value of 6000 Jamaican dollars.