Queen death: What countries will ditch the monarchy to become a republic

The death of Queen Elizabeth marks the start of King Charles’ reign – but a string of countries are now poised to turn their backs on him.

Last November, the Caribbean island nation of Barbados became the world’s latest republic after officially removing Queen Elizabeth as its head of state, following in the footsteps of Mauritius, which did the same back in 1992.

The Queen was also removed as head of state in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica in the 1970s, and Fiji in 1987.

The government of neighbouring Jamaica has also announced plans to transition towards a republic in 2025.

And here in Australia, the republican movement has also seen a renewed push in recent years, with the cause getting a major boost with the election of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who appointed MP Matt Thistlethwaite to the new role of Assistant Minister the Republic.

So what does it all mean for the future of the Commonwealth, and for King Charles’ reign?

Republican movement spreads

There are now 54 member states of the Commonwealth, but just 15 of those still have the monarch as their head of state.

They include Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, The Bahamas and Tuvalu and the UK.

The republican movement appears to be especially strong in the Caribbean, with the Bahamas’ former attorney general Sean McWeeney stating last year that it was “inevitable” the nation would follow Barbados’ lead.

Also last year, Belize’s Minister Constitutional and Political Reform, Henry Charles Usher, reportedly told 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.”

Meanwhile, Mikael Phillips, an opposition member of Jamaica’s parliament, said on Thursday local time he believed the death of Queen Elizabeth could hasten the transition to a republic.

“I am hoping as the Prime Minister had said in one of his expressions, that he would move faster when there is a new monarch in place,” Mr Phillips said.

And St Lucia’s leader of the opposition, Allen Chastanet, told Reuters he supported the “general” movement towards a republic in his country.

The mood within the Caribbean was also on display back in March when Prince William and his wife Catherine toured Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas and were met with protests and calls for slavery reparation payments.

‘An issue for the Australian people’

Meanwhile, the Australian Republic Movement has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth, and shared a quote from Her majesty herself regarding Australia’s future.

“The Australian Republic Movement recognises and pays due respect to the significant contribution made by Queen Elizabeth II over more than seven decades as Head of State to Australia and 14 other nations, and expresses its condolences to the royal family,” the organisation said in a statement.

“Many Australians have known no other Head of State – the length of her reign was unrivalled. As monarch, Queen Elizabeth was a patron of more than 600 organisations and served them admirably.

She rose to become a respected representative of Britain and the Commonwealth.

“Queen Elizabeth respected the self-determination of the Australian people. During her reign, the Australia Act 1986 was passed eliminating many of the remaining opportunities for UK interference in Australian government.

“Appeals from Australian courts to British courts were abolished.

“The Queen backed the right of Australians to become a fully independent nation during the referendum on an Australian republic in 1999, saying that she has ‘always made it clear that the future of the monarchy in Australia is an issue for the Australian people and them alone to decide, by democratic and constitutional means’.”

Chair of the Australian Republic Movement, Peter FitzSimons AM, also expressed his sympathies and gratitude on behalf of the movement.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Queen Elizabeth’s passing and express deep gratitude and thanks for her service to the Commonwealth,” he said.

“During her reign, Australia has grown into a mature and independent nation. It is unlikely we will ever see a monarch as respected or admired by the Australian people again.”

The Albanese government has committed to exploring the option of becoming a republic in its second term, with staunch republican and Assistant Minister for the Republic Matt Thistlethwaite telling A Current Affair earlier this year that “many Australians now believe that the time is right”.

“We will begin the discussion during this term and hopefully, if that is successful, we can look to move towards an Australian head of state in our second and hopefully third terms of government,” Mr Thistlethwaite said.

Read related topics:Queen Elizabeth II

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