During a visit by British Prince William, 39, and his wife, Duchess Kate, 40, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness indicated that the country would secede from the crown. “We’re moving on,” he told reporters Wednesday in the capital Kingston, referring to the Jamaican story, standing next to William.
“Jamaica has grown and matured over the last 60 years, and with that maturity has come a desire for full political independence and self-determination,” Holness wrote on Twitter.
The Caribbean country celebrates 60 years of independence in August. “I have expressed to the Duke that, in this regard, it is inevitable that we will move towards becoming a republic and thus fulfill the will of the people of Jamaica and our ambitions to become an independent, developed and prosperous country.”
Holness had already said in December that Jamaica must become a republic. A few days earlier, Barbados – also a former British Caribbean colony that had become independent in the 1960s – had seceded from the British monarchy and declared a republic.
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Jamaica is the second stop on William and Kate’s eight-day tour of three former colonies on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II (95), who this year celebrates her 70th anniversary on the throne. The journey began in Belize and ends next Saturday in the Bahamas.
A rally was held outside the British embassy in Kingston on Tuesday, where organizers say 350 people demanded apologies and reparations from the royal family for slavery and other acts during the colonial era. The couple had previously canceled a visit to a cocoa farm in a town in central Belize after an outcry from residents. (dpa)