- Governor Sandra Mason became the first female president of Barbados on Monday, removing Elizabeth II from official power
- The Queen, when she ascended the throne, became the head of state not only in Great Britain, but also, among other things, in Canada, Pakistan and South Africa.
- In the late 1990s, Australians had the opportunity to remove Elizabeth II from power in a referendum, but they unexpectedly chose a monarchy.
- The main political forces of Jamaica announce the breaking of the personal union with Great Britain, but they have not been able to do so for decades
- More information can be found on Onet homepage
Nearly 400 years after the first English ship landed on the island, Barbados finally broke away from the British monarchy. Outgoing Governor Sandra Mason was sworn in as the first president of this small country on Monday evening local time (Tuesday morning Poland time).
Crown Prince Charles attended the ceremony of leaving the Royal Banner in Barbados.
Barbados gained its independence as early as 1966, but has officially held the presidency since then Queen Elizabeth II. Although its practical influence on the country’s politics was minimal, for the past 55 years Barbados has belonged to the so-called Commonwealth realms. It is a group of independent countries which, due to their colonial past, have remained in personal union with Great Britain.
When Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952, she assumed official power not only in Great Britain but also in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon. Since then the list of its kingdoms has changed significantly, after some of them became republics (Pakistan, Ceylon, South Africa), and others gained their independence in the process of decolonization.
Countries ruled by Elizabeth II [LISTA]
Currently (after leaving the Confederation of Barbados) the following countries recognize Elizabeth II as their Queen:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Nevis and the Grenadines
- Great Britain
- Solomon Islands
At the same time, Elizabeth II occupies the highest position in territories that are not independent states:
- In Gibraltar – Queen of Gibraltar
- In Guernsey and Jersey, as Duke of Normandy
- On the Isle of Man – Like Lord Man
Australia votes for the queen
For years, discussions had been raging in many communal kingdoms about removing Elizabeth II from power and establishing a republic instead of a monarchy. One such country is Australia, where, among others, the Labor Party and the Greens.
Proponents of the republic gained strength in the late 20th century and led to the Constitutional Convention in 1998, which proposed changing the Australian Basic Law. The Queen was to be removed from office, and the President was to be the head of state, elected by a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
A year later, the proposal was submitted to a referendum. Opinion polls for many years have shown clear support of Australians for the republic. It was also endorsed by the main political forces, as well as by former media commentators who supported it. However, the results turned out to be surprising. More than 54 percent of voters were in favor of preserving ownership in Antipodes.
The 1999 referendum closed the topic of turning the country into a republic for several years, but it has recently resurfaced in public debate. Some Australian politicians suggest that the monarchy should not be preserved until the coronation of Elizabeth II.
Jamaica wants it, but it can’t
There is an interesting situation happening in another societal kingdom, i.e. Na Jamaica. Both major rival parties announced their support for turning the country into a republic. Both announce regularly before the next elections that they will hold a referendum on this issue. However, no one has fulfilled that promise yet.
Voices of resignation have come from the rule of Elizabeth II in Jamaica since 1962, when the island gained its independence. However, the ruling elite, which was shaped in English culture and showed great sympathy for the British monarchy, decided to ignore it at the time.
Prime Minister Michael Manley announced in 1977 that Jamaica would become a republic in 1981. However, nothing happened, despite the fact that he was replaced by another supporter of the republic.
Jamaican Prime Minister PJ Peterson has taken a step towards removing from power Elizabeth II, who in 2002 rescinded the obligation of government officials to take an oath of allegiance to the monarchy. Then the Prime Minister exclaimed, “The majority of people in Jamaica are ready to abandon the last vestiges of colonialism in history.” However, nothing came of the ambitious plans to organize a referendum on the subject, either at that time or in the following years.
Twice “No” in Tuvalu
Supporters of the republic in Tuvalu have discovered that removing Elizabeth II from the throne is not so easy. This small state (about the size of an Oak) scattered on the Pacific islands between Australia and Hawaii gained its independence from Great Britain in 1978. However, it remained with it in a personal union.
The first approach to the Republic of Tuvalu was taken in 1986. An overwhelming majority (more than 90%) of the electorate supported keeping the monarchy.
For the second time, the residents of Tuvalu had the opportunity to get rid of Elizabeth II in 2008. Few, however, wanted to comment on her at all. Less than 2,000 went to the polls. Of about 9 thousand people entitled to vote. Nearly 65 percent of them are against the idea of a republic.
See also: Kingdoms in modern Europe [INFOGRAFIKA]
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