Countries can ditch monarchy and become republics ‘calmly and without rancour’ says Prince of Wales
Countries should be able to ditch the monarchy and become republics “calmly and without rancour” should they choose to do so, the Prince of Wales is expected to say today.
Charles’ comments are due to be delivered during the opening ceremony of a summit of Commonwealth prime ministers and presidents in Rwanda- the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm).
He expected to say that the decision as to whether keeping the the Queen, or himself after she dies, as head of state or become a republic are “a matter for each member country to decide”.
A number of Caribbean nations have already suggested they may ditch the British monarchy and elect their own heads of state.
Barbados took the historic move of replacing the Queen as head of state in November last year and elected its first president during a ceremony witnessed by the prince.
In his address at the opening ceremony, Charles is expected to say: “The Commonwealth contains within it, countries that have had constitutional relationships with my family, some that continue to do so, and increasingly those that have had none.
“I want to say clearly, as I have said before, that each member’s Constitutional arrangement, as republic or monarchy, is purely a matter for each member country to decide.
“The benefit of long life brings me the experience that arrangements such as these can change, calmly and without rancour.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridges’ March visit to the Caribbean appeared to raise the issue of other realms – nations where the Queen is head of state – breaking away from the British monarchy.
Jamaica’s prime minister Andrew Holness, who has travelled to Rwanda for Chogm, suggested to the couple his country may be the next to become a republic.
While a few days after the Cambridges left Belize, Henry Charles Usher, minister for constitutional and political reform, reportedly told Belize’s parliament: “Perhaps it is time for Belize to take the next step in truly owning our independence.
“But it is a matter that the people of Belize must decide on.”
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