Jamaican PM talks of severing ties with British monarchy as Prince Harry prepares to visit

 

The Jamaican Prime Minister has reiterated her belief that the country should break its ties with the British monarchy.

The call comes ahead of a visit to the island by Prince Harry.

Portia Simpson Miller has been outspoken about the historical importance of the island nation ending its relationship with the British Royals, and has suggested that a referendum take place on the subject - possibly this year.

In an interview with Associated Press Ms Miller said,

"I think the fact that August coming will be 50 years since we have gained our independence that it's time for us to sever the ties,” she said, continuing,

"I really feel it is time now for Jamaica to have its own leadership fully, to take charge."

Today Prince Harry left the UK to embark on his first solo overseas trip on behalf of the Queen.

On the seven day tour to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Prince Harry will visit Belize, followed by the Bahamas and finally Jamaica.

Harry will meet Ms Simpson Miller before a state dinner hosted by Sir Patrick Allen, Jamaica's Governor-General, on Tuesday evening.

Ms Simpson Miller has said that having a Jamaican head of state, rather than the Queen, would be a monument to the slaves first brought to Jamaica.

She said: "It is important to us because it is part of a journey, a journey that started when our ancestors were dragged, sold into slavery and brought here and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Their struggles were so that we can be free men and women today".

Ms Simpson Miller, 66, was elected as prime minister in December of last year and announced her intention to push for Jamaica to sever its ties with the British Royals in her inaugural address to the nation, first praising the Queen as a ‘beautiful lady’ before saying,

“As we celebrate our achievements as an independent nation, we now need to complete the circle of independence”.

Jamaica currently has significant debt-troubles which amount to 130% of its gross domestic product, or £11.6 billion. This is around ten percentage points higher than debt-troubled Italy.

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: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
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