Mourn if you must but it’s time to dump the monarchy
The passing of Queen Elizabeth II marked the end of an era for Britain.
At the Royal Family’s castle in Balmoral, the longest-reigning monarch of Great Britain died peacefully at age 96.
News of her deteriorating health prompted the Queen’s immediate family to rush to Balmoral Castle in Scotland to be by her side.
On her passing, Elizabeth’s 73-year-old son, Charles, ascended to the throne as the monarch of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
In the Caribbean, the news of the Queen’s passing “renewed calls from politicians and activists for former colonies in the Caribbean to remove the monarch as their head of state and for Britain to pay slavery reparations,” Reuters reported.
In an interview, a 44-year-old academic who chairs the Bahamas National Reparations Committee, Niambi Hall-Campbell, believes that the ascension of King Charles III to the throne could be “an opportunity to advance discussions of reparations for our region.”
At the summit in Kigali, Rwanda held last June, Caribbean ministers who spoke to Reuters said they “had no problem with Charles as a person, but were uncomfortable with the symbolism of a royal succession.”
Charles’ comments at the Rwanda summit about his “personal sorrow over slavery” seem to offer “some degree of hope,” according to a Jamaican reparations advocate Rosalea Hamilton.
Britain’s new king did not mention the reparations in his Kigali speech.
Some Caribbean nations have expressed their intent to separate from the monarchy. In 2021, Barbados transitioned into a Republic. Jamaica has also said it may soon follow Barbados in leaving the royal rule. Both countries remain members of the Commonwealth.
Some Caribbean nations declared their mourning for Queen Elizabeth’s passing. Caribbean leaders expressed their condolences to the Royal Family, and flags were in lowered down in half-mast as a gesture of respect to the Queen’s death.
In Dominica, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit declared a two-day mourning on Monday, September 12 and Tuesday, September 13.
Jamaica will have a longer period of mourning from September 8 to September 19, according to the office of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves have also extended condolences to the Royal Family on behalf on St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He said he will be present at the funeral to represent the nation as one of the 14 Commonwealth realms.