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Jamaica "moving ahead" with plan to scrap King Charles’ monarchy

King Charles III is on course to be removed as head of state by Jamaica even as he prepares for his coronation in May.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness told a press conference Wednesday that the country has set “ambitious timelines” for the process, which will include a referendum.

Quoted by the Jamaica Observerhe said: “There may be the view that it is a straightforward and simple task of just changing the name of the country from that of a constitutional monarchy to a republic—that is not the case.

“There are many legal steps that we have to go through and there is the matter of a referendum, the outcome of which no one can predict.

“Nevertheless, the Government is moving ahead with it and we feel that we have the institutional and human capacity to address those risks sufficiently to get to the outcome which we all want—Jamaica as a republic.”

The announcement comes exactly a year after Prince William and Kate Middleton embarked on a disastrous tour of the Caribbean, sparking protests in the Jamaican capital Kingston.

On March 22, 2022, the couple appeared in a set of awkward photographs meeting Jamaican children through the gaps in a wire mesh fence.

The following day, Holness gave the first clear indication that Jamaica was seriously eyeing a future as a republic.

He told William and Kate: “We’re moving on. And we intend to attain, in short order, our development goals and fulfill our true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed, prosperous country.”

Holness’ comments yesterday show the process is now underway, suggesting the only way the plans could now be derailed would be if the country voted to keep the monarchy.

Britain and Jamaica are among 15 countries around the world that count King Charles as head of state, with those outside the UK known as Commonwealth Realms.

The Caribbean nation of Barbados cut ties with the monarchy during Queen Elizabeth II’s lifetime and it was Charles who traveled out to attend the ceremony in which Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as president.

Commentators have long anticipated that succession from Elizabeth to Charles would be a moment when other countries in the region would consider a path to a new future.

Antigua and Barbuda also indicated a desire to hold a referendum on removing Charles as head of state, making the announcement days after Elizabeth died in September, 2022.

Gaston Browne, the country’s prime minister, told ITV: “This is not an act of hostility or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy, but it is the final step to complete that circle of independence, to ensure that we are truly a sovereign nation.”

When asked for a time frame on the referendum, he said: “I’d say probably within the next three years.”

Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email We’d love to hear from you.

King Charles III is on course to be removed as head of state by Jamaica even as he prepares for his coronation in May.

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