The Stream

Why are some Caribbean nations ditching the Queen?

On Tuesday, May 10 at 19:30 GMT:
In recent months, more former British colonies in the Caribbean have declared their intent to abolish the monarchy and remove Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state.

Those countries include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Kitts and Nevis. Last November, Barbados cut ties with the British monarchy and became the world’s newest republic.

The trend towards republicanism isn’t new. Dominica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago all became republics in the 1970s. But the spread of the Black Lives Matter movement, along with an increased interest in reckoning with the colonial past, has influenced Caribbean politicians.

Royal tours aimed at strengthening ties between the Queen and former British colonies have appeared to do the exact opposite. Visits by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Earl and Countess of Wessex prompted protesters to renew calls for slavery reparations and a more meaningful apology for abuses during the British empire.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss what constitutional monarchy means for Caribbean countries today. Join the conversation.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Rosalea Hamilton, @rosaleahamilton @Advocatesnetja
Coordinator, Advocates Network Jamaica

Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, @SholaMos1
Lawyer, activist & author of “This Is Why I Resist”

Kristina Hinds
Senior lecturer, University of the West Indies