Prince Harry began a four-day visit to Jamaica on Monday as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour honoring Queen Elizabeth II. The young prince's visit comes at an awkward time, however -- Jamaica's newly elected prime minister has said the island nation should be its own republic, without ties to the crown.
I love the Queen; she is a beautiful lady, said Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller during her Jan. 6 inauguration speech. But I think time come.
“I think the fact that August coming will be 50 years since we have gained our independence that it’s time for us to sever the ties,” Simpson-Miller recently told The Associated Press.
Though severing ties from the crown might be easier said, than done. The Queen remains highly respected among older Jamaicans, who see the monarchy as a symbol of stability, while younger people seem mostly indifferent, The Associated Press reported.
Nonetheless, the debate continues, and Simpson-Miller has suggested that the UK apologize for using Jamaican slaves between the 1600s and 1800s. Jamaica gained its independence from England in 1962.
No race should have been subjected to what our ancestors were subjected to. It was wicked and brutal, she said in a recent interview.
We gained our freedom through the sweat, blood and tears of our ancestors and we are now free. If Britain wishes to apologize, fine with us, no problem at all.
Prince Harry and Simpson-Miller are schedule to meet for a private lunch on Tuesday, which the Jamaican prime minister assured wouldn't be the last meeting held with a member of the Royal family.
Even if the Queen does not remain head of state the Queen at any time will be welcome to visit, she said in a BBC interview.
It's not about getting rid of the Queen - who could get rid of the Queen? She is a wonderful, beautiful lady. The decision to become a republic shouldn't be taken in the context of us wanting to get rid of the Queen.