April 23, 2024

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After Barbados, fear of a domino effect on the British monarchy

A trend that will “inevitably continue”? After Barbados becomes a republic on Tuesday, some experts expect other nations to follow the example of this Caribbean island to free themselves from the British crown.

In 1997, Prince Charles, the heir to the British Crown, read the message of his mother Elizabeth II in Hong Kong during a rain ceremony to hand over this former British colony to China, 150 years later.

Twenty-four years later, the 73-year-old prince will attend Monday’s new transfer of sovereignty: the Caribbean micro-state of Barbados, which has been independent since 1966, was elected its first president in mid-October, 13 months later. Formerly a republic.

“When your constitutional position changes, it is important for me to join you in reaffirming things that have not changed. Like the partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as key members of the Commonwealth, Prince Charles should have said in a speech issued in advance of his services.

But at the end of the reign of 95-year-old Elizabeth II, her son Charles faces the risk of gaining global access to the declining British monarchy, with some experts believing Barbados could drag other kingdoms.

Following in the footsteps of Joe Little, editor of Majesty magazine, which began shortly after the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, the change in course this country has made is truly a “natural development”.

“This is a trend that will inevitably continue,” the AFP interviewer said. “Not necessarily under the current regime, but under the next.”

“Democracy Day”

In 1947, five years before Queen Elizabeth II became Queen, the United Kingdom had already transformed India, the “jewel in the crown”, into an independent republic.

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After he ascended the throne in 1952, several independence movements spread through the former British colonies, severing ties with the Crown on the basis of bloody conquests and the slave trade.

Some were loyal to the crown, and until Tuesday, the Queen was officially the head of state of 16 countries.

Barbados, with a population of approximately 300,000, follows in the footsteps of Fiji (1987) and Mauritius (1992), becoming republics in the 1970s after the Caribbean states of Dominica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

Monday night ceremony that takes place the day before the 55the History professor Hillary Beckles, originally from Barbados, believes the year of the country’s independence marks a “historic moment” of distant significance.

It will be a symbol for the country, but also for other countries that were once colonized, a liberation from the “tyranny of imperialist and colonial power” and the “brutal legacy of slavery,” the researcher adds.

Republican sentiment

Elizabeth II has long been a prominent member of the royal family and for many has the last last living connection of the country with its imperial past.

Many experts fear that after Charles, the question of becoming a republic will be too much for the rest of the world.

Therefore, Australia, and to a lesser extent Canada, does not consider it more likely to elect a local head of state. In 1999, Australians went to the polls with a locally elected president to decide whether their country should become a republic, but the proposal was not eventually passed.

For Graham Smith, a member of the Republican lobby group against the British monarchy, Barbados’ example was “useful” because it showed that overthrowing the monarchy could be done easily.

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“It will have a huge impact,” he predicted in Jamaica.

According to Yukov’s survey in May, there was not much support for the end of the monarchy among the older generation in the UK, with only 13% of people over the age of 65 wanting to go to the Republic. On the other hand, 41% of 18-24 year olds will be in favor of an elected head of state.

Mr. According to Smith, this is explained by the great awareness among the youth of anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles.