Harry's heading to Jamaica, but grandma is not welcome

Caribbean island's Prime Minister says time has come to remove the Queen as head of State

A visit by Prince Harry to Jamaica this summer has suddenly become political, after the country's new Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, used her swearing in speech to announce her intention to remove the Queen as head of state and make the Caribbean island country a republic.

"I love the Queen; she is a beautiful lady," said Simpson Miller, as she became Jamaican Prime Minister for the second time. "But I think the time has come."

A Jamaican government spokesman confirmed that it would begin the process of "removing all ties with the British monarchy, thereby becoming a truly independent nation".

Addressing an audience of 10,000 guests in the grounds of the governor-general's official residence, Ms Simpson Miller said her government intended to abandon the British monarch as Jamaica's official head of state and instead adopt a republican form of government.

It is not the country's first flirtation with republicanism. When PJ Patterson was Prime Minister he declared the time had come for a "head of state chosen by us". He set 2007 as the deadline.

That Ms Simpson Miller has come to office to begin with is a consequence largely of a dethroning of an altogether different overlord. Seventy-six people died in the firefight to arrest Jamaica's gangland king Christopher "Dudus" Coke in 2010. The fall-out resulting from Prime Minister Bruce Golding's initial failure to send Coke to New York to face drug charges, saw him step down last year. Replacing the British monarchy as head of state would be a significantly less bloody affair, though it is unlikely to spare the blushes of the third in line to the throne.

Prince Harry's visit to Jamaica will be his first overseas trip in which he is officially representing his grandmother, timed to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

It is possible that the Queen and Ms Simpson Miller will both be in attendance at the Olympics 100m final, where it is likely Jamaica's Usain Bolt will be crowned de facto king of the 2012 Games.

Ms Simpson Miller also vowed to replace arguably an even more curious anachronism in her country's governance – that of the Privy Council in London serving as Jamaica's highest court of appeal, a system she described as "judicial surveillance from London".

Jamaica has watched her neighbours Guyanan and Trinidad and Tobago declare themselves republics in 1970 and 1976 respectively. The island achieved independence in 1962, but is one of 15 Commonwealth nations that has kept the British monarch as head of state.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Operation Caseworker

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Caseworker is req...

Recruitment Genius: Contact Centre Advisor

£19500 - £21500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading children's chariti...

Recruitment Genius: Client Services Assistant

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Services Assistant is ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Senior Sales Broker - OTE £100,000

£20000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportuni...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor