Commonwealth countries: what have they said after death of Queen Elizabeth II - will they become republics?

A total of 14 nations will retain the British monarch as their head of state

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II is a delicate moment for the British Commonwealth, with 14 countries to continue to recognise the monarch as their head of state.

Changes to the law or statute may be required and could trigger calls for a referendum in countries where there is significant opposition to the current situation.

Barbados decided to become a republic last year, making it the first to exit in almost 30 years, and Jamaica could well follow its regional neighbour.

The accession of King Charles III is now a moment where many of his subjects across the Commonwealth will ask if the time is right to also become a republic, installing a less remote head of state.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda has said following the Queen’s death he will call for a referendum on the country becoming a republic within three years.

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What did the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda say?

The Caribbean country is one of 14 nations to retain the British monarch as their head of state.

The country’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne signed a document confirming Charles’ status as the new King, but minutes later said he would push for a republic referendum.

It comes after such a move was indicated earlier this year during a visit by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Mr Browne told ITV: “This is not an act of hostility or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy, but it is the final step to complete that circle of independence, to ensure that we are truly a sovereign nation.

“I’d say probably within the next three years,” he added, when asked for a timeframe on the referendum.

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Mr Browne in April called on the Wessexes to use their “diplomatic influence” to achieve “reparatory justice” and outlined his country’s wish to “one day become a republic”.

The earl was criticised as “arrogant” for joking that he had not been taking notes during Mr Browne’s comments.

Mr Browne told ITV on Saturday (10 September) his country would remain a committed member of the Commonwealth, even if it removes the monarchy by a referendum.

Anitguans were also hopeful about the future despite the potential for significant change.

Resident Anna Crick spoke of the late Queen: “It’s all about the love that we have for her and the passion we have.

“Although we are independent – we honour our own – we still look up to her.”

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What has Jamaica said?

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness suggested to William and Kate that his country may be the next to become a republic.

It comes after William and Kate were accused of harking back to colonial days in Jamaica in March after the pair shook hands with crowds behind a wire mesh fence and rode in the back of a Land Rover, just as the Queen had done 60 years prior.

Demonstrators accused them of benefiting from the “blood, tears and sweat” of slaves and in the Bahamas, they were urged to acknowledge the British economy was “built on the backs” of past Bahamians and to pay reparations.

William acknowledged after the trip that the monarchy’s days in the Caribbean may be numbered as he stated the future “is for the people to decide upon”.

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What have other Commonwealth countries said?

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her government will not pursue becoming a republic following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Canada and Australia have also announced that King Charles III will be their head of state as well.

In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “On behalf of the Government of Canada, we affirm our loyalty to Canada’s new King, His Majesty King Charles III, and offer him our full support.”

In Australia, Governor General David Hurley proclaimed King Charles as head of state at Parliament House, accompanied by a 21-gun salute.

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Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis, said a republic referendum “is not an agenda item of this administration at this time”.

Papua New Guinea is among the host of realms to have already proclaimed King Charles III as their new head of state.

The Commonwealth realm includes New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.