Jamaica's Prime Minister Tells Government To 'Move Ahead With Speed' To Become Republic

The transition would mean removing King Charles III — Jamaica's current monarch — as head of state.

Jamaica’s prime minister, Andrew Holness, has instructed his government to “move ahead with speed” in abolishing the country’s constitutional monarchy.

“It is time that Jamaica becomes a republic,” Holness said, according to a story published Tuesday in The Gleaner, a newspaper in Jamaica.

“The process is not simple, and we have known this since we started on this journey. And we are making sure that we check every box as we move deliberately in that regard.”

Holness added that he told the minister of legal and constitutional affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte, to “please move ahead with speed and alacrity on this matter.”

Andrew Holness, the prime minister of Jamaica, attends the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on June 8.
Andrew Holness, the prime minister of Jamaica, attends the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on June 8.
CHANDAN KHANNA via Getty Images

The transition to a republic would entail Jamaica removing King Charles III as head of state for the country, which currently recognizes him as its monarch.

When Barbados became a republic in November 2021, the country removed its then-sovereign — Queen Elizabeth II — as head of state. Days after that transition, Holness told the outlet Loop News, “There is no question that Jamaica has to become a republic.”

“We have put together a plan to move towards that in a way that is meaningful and substantial in function and form,” he said at the time. “That is what we are going to do.”

The prime minister later told Prince William and Kate Middleton ― during their controversial tour of the Caribbean in 2022 ― that Jamaica was “moving on” from its past.

Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Holness at his office on March 23 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Prince William and Kate Middleton visit Holness at his office on March 23 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images

“Jamaica is, as you would see, a country that is very proud of our history and very proud of what we have achieved,” he said. “And we intend to attain, in short order, our development goals and fulfill our true ambitions and destiny as an independent, developed, prosperous country.”

After Jamaica and Belize made clear during the couple’s tour that the nations were both beginning republic talks, William said that the royals “support with pride and respect your decisions about your future.”

William’s comments fall in line with Buckingham Palace’s typical response when asked about Commonwealth countries becoming republics, as the palace generally says that is a matter for the people of a given nation to decide.

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