Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the nation is planning to ‘move on’ leaving the monarchy behind in a bid to cut ties. The Prime Minister warned The Duke and Duchess during their Royal Visit to the island.

Photo Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Hundreds of people happily came out to greet the royal couple. However, many demonstrators also took to the streets to send a message to the couple that ‘time is up.’ And to demand reparations for the island’s history of colonial slavery.

Click: Protesters Demand Apology  via Sky News

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received an official welcome from Prime Minister Holness and his wife Juliet. They were in the capital city of Kingston for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, which marks the 70th anniversary of her coronation. The couple is on their week-long royal tour across the Caribbean, which was supposed to begin in Belize (canceled due to similar protests) and will end in the Bahamas.

Pressure for the country to remove the British monarchy continues to grow…

Holness describes “how Jamaica intends to fulfill its destiny to be an independent, developed, prosperous country.” The process for divesting from the British Monarchy is in its early stages. But the goal is to be free of the monarchy as soon as possible. No time like the present, Holness and his cabinet are hoping to get the transition for solvency sometime during 2022.

“The goal is to be a Republic and to be a very independent, developed prosperous country,” Holness continued…

Marlene Malahoo Forte, Jamaica’s former Attorney General was appointed last year to be The Minister of Constitutional Affairs. Her new duties which began this January, include overseeing the political change-over to independence as a Republic.

Changes to the constitution are required for the needed referendum.

Another senior minister advised, “that The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP) had a meeting last month to discuss, what the future of the republic’s head of state would look like?” However, those talks for changes to the required referendum have derailed. No official decision has been determined yet on whether the country should have an executive president or a ceremonial president.

Photo Credit: Stephen Locke, i-Images

Jamaica is the latest British Commonwealth country to advocate for the Queen’s removal. Similarly, the island of Barbados became a Republic by removing the monarchy last year as head of state but with a simple majority vote.

Not so for Jamaica. The process for the country is different and with more stringent regulations. Changes to the constitution require a referendum. This would allow an electoral vote on the proposal before it heads to the legislature. Once that happens, then it would have to be approved by a two-thirds majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Historical Facts:

  • 1655 Britain captures Jamaica from Spain – 
  • 1807 Britain discontinued the slave trade
  • 1833 British Parliament passed ‘Slavery Abolishing Act’
  • 1834 abolished the practice of slavery in Jamaica, Caribbean, Africa and Canada 
  • 1865 ’13th amendment Anti-Slavery’ bill is passed in the United States 
  • 1858 to 1947 British Raj – India sub-continent period under British rule

After the 1833 ‘Abolishing Act’ was passed, the British went on to pay 20 million pounds to the slave owners. Clearing off the balance of incurred interest as recently as 2015. Though, no record of compensation shows monies were ever paid to those enslaved or their descendants

The Duke & Duchess Of Cambridge face protesters in Jamaica - Jamaica wantssto be Republic

Photo: Ricardo Makyn/Getty Images

Therefore, several of Jamaica’s activists and influencers called the Advocates Network Coalition want an apology and reparations. The coalition is made up of politicians, business leaders, doctors, and musicians. The demonstrators wrote an open letter outlining at least 60 reasons why the monarchy should compensate Jamaica, and signed a petition to begin the transition effective immediately.

Published by Holr Magazine