The Queen was removed as head of state of Barbados last November, sparking a domino effect of Caribbean nations signalling their intentions of following in Bridgetown’s footsteps. Jamaica created a new ministry as Her Majesty began celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee tasked with leading efforts towards cutting the last vestiges of the colonial period. Jamaicans hit out at both the Queen and the Royal Family for their perceived lack of focus on their country, but noted removing Her Majesty would not change things for them.
Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs Marlene Malahoo Forte said the process of removal would take place in “stages” ahead of the 2025 election.
Ms Malahoo Forte said: “The goal is to ultimately produce a new Constitution of Jamaica, enacted by the Parliament of Jamaica, to inter alia, establish the Republic of Jamaica as a parliamentary republic, replacing the constitutional monarchy, and affirming our self-determination and cultural heritage.
“I am pleased to advise this honourable House that the work to achieve this goal, while being done in stages, has formally commenced.”
She added: “The reform work to be done in order to achieve the goal of a new constitution requires cooperation between the government and the parliamentary opposition, as well as the seal of the people.”
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Jamaica signalled its intentions to move ahead with the removal of the Queen during a visit from Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge in April.
The royal couple embarked on an eight-day tour of the Caribbeans and were met with protests on several legs of the journey.
And during a meeting with Prime Minister Holness, the politician said Jamaica is now “moving on” to achieve its ambitions as an “independent” nation.
He said: “There are issues here which are, as you would know, unresolved, but your presence gives an opportunity for these issues to be placed in context, put front and centre and to be addressed as best we can.
“But Jamaica is, as you can see, a country that is very proud of its history, very proud of what we have achieved and we are moving on and we intend to attain, in short order, our developing goals and to fulfil our true ambitions… as an independent, developed, prosperous country.”