Where is King Charles still sovereign? Full list of Commonwealth countries - did any celebrate coronation
Prior to the coronation, Prime Minister of Belize Johnny Briceño said that there was 'no excitement' in the country for royal event
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On Saturday 6 May, the coronation of King Charles III was held in Westminster Abbey following months of preparation for the royal ceremony. Over 2,000 people were invited to attend the event, including members of the royal family and high ranking officials from the Commonwealth of Nations.
Prior to the full text of Charles III’s oath that he will take during the coronation being released, it was confirmed by the government that the wording of the oath would be amended because the number of Commonwealth realms had “evolved” since 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II had her coronation.
The Commonwealth realm refers to a sovereign state that has King Charles III as its monarch and head of state. He overtook his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, as the Commonwealth realms’ monarch immediately upon her passing on 8 September 2022.
This is everything you need to know about the Commonwealth realms - and which countries are eyeing a separation from the monarchy.
Full list of Commonwealth countries
As of May 2023, there are 15 Commonwealth realms:
Did the Commonwealth realms celebrate King Charles III’s coronation?
Some of the Commonwealth realms celebrated the coronation on Saturday 6 May, which saw King Charles III crowned at Westminster Abbey.
In New Zealand, a number of events were planned to mark the occasion, with local councils across the country planting native trees as part of King Charles III coronation plantings “He Rā Rākau Tītapu”. A national event was also held in Auckland at the Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Buildings and landmarks across New Zealand were lit up in purple lights over the coronation weekend, with the New Zealand Defence Force carrying out a gun salute at midday on Sunday 7 May.
Australia also lit up important landmarks in purple to mark the coronation, as well as a Nation 21 Gun Salute.
Canada held an official ceremony to honour the coronation on Saturday which featured performances, speeches and a 21 gun salute.
Which Commonwealth realms could become republics?
A number of countries have announced their intentions to break away from the monarchy in recent months.
The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, told BBC Radio 4's the World At One show that it was his desire to oust the King as the nation’s head of state after a failed referendum in 2009.
He said: "It’s something that I’m hoping to see consummated, the severing of the umbilical cord between our country and the British monarch. King Charles knows that, he and I have discussed that in very amicable ways, but Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will remain in the Commonwealth.
“The King is understanding of the impulses of former colonial peoples to cut the links.”
Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Terrance Drew also recently told the BBC that the eastern Caribbean country is “not totally free” while the King is its head of state.
Drew said that a public consultation on whether the Commonwealth realm nation should become a republic will start during his leadership. Drew, of the Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party, who won a snap election in August, also called on the monarchy to apologise for its historic links to the slave trade.
After the Queen’s death, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne announced plans to hold a referendum on becoming a republic within three years. He told ITV that the move is “not an act of hostility” but “a final step to complete the circle of independence”.
Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis also told the Nassau Guardian in September last year that the possibility of becoming a republic is “always on the table”.
He said: “The only challenge with us moving to a republic is that I can’t - as much as I would like to do it - I can’t do it without your consent. I’ll have to have a referendum and the Bahamian people would have to say to me, “yes”.”
Speaking to Sky News, Marlene Malahoo Forte, Jamaica's minister for legal and constitutional affairs, said that King Charles III’s coronation has sped up plans for the country to become a republic, with an “urgent” referendum that could be held “as early as 2024”.
Forte said: “While the United Kingdom is celebrating the coronation of the King, that is for the United Kingdom. Jamaica is looking to write a new constitution… which will sever ties with the monarch as our head of state.”
She added: "Time has come. Jamaica in Jamaican hands. We have to get it done, especially with the transition in the monarchy. My government is saying we have to do it now. Time to say goodbye!"
In an interview with the Guardian, the Prime Minister of Belize, Johnny Briceño, has said that it’s “quite likely” that the country could be the next member of the Commonwealth realm to become a republic. His comments came after criticising UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for failing to apologise for the role that Britain played in the transatlantic slave trade, which saw millions enslaved and killed.
Briceño also called for the UK to pay out financial reparations throughout the English-speaking Caribbean.
He said: “I think [Sunak] has a moral responsibility to be able to offer at the very least an apology. He should have a better appreciation of it because of his ancestry. When you read and hear about the plundering that took place in the land of his ancestors, I do believe that he should have offered an apology.”
When asked if the people of Belize were excited about the coronation, Briceño replied: “There is no excitement. We are so far away from the UK … You don’t see people taking out their union jack flags or anything.”