Prince William says the UK will support and respect the decisions of the Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica to become a republic

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Prince William has hinted that the UK will support the Caribbean nations of the Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica if they choose to become republics.

During the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Caribbean tour, William told a reception in the Bahamian capital Nassau that the UK would respect any decisions countries make about its future.

Barbados made the historic decision in November 2021 to remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state to become a republic, prompting other Caribbean nations to take similar action.

William said at the reception: “I know next year you are all looking forward to celebrating 50 years of independence, your golden anniversary.

“As Jamaica celebrates 60 years of independence this year, and Belize celebrates 40 years of independence last year, I would like to say the following: We proudly support and respect your decisions about your future.”

After Cambridge’s arrival in Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness strongly suggested that his country intended to become a republic. He told the couple that Jamaica was striving to become an “independent, developed and prosperous country”.

The Belizean government also indicated after the royal visit that its people would soon be asked to consider whether or not they wanted to take the next step toward true independence, implying that more moves toward true independence of the republic could be made soon.

The Cambridge tour of the Caribbean, which aims to celebrate the queen’s platinum jubilee, was met with criticism and protest in the region, in part due to the royal family’s links to the slave trade.

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Prince William expressed his “deep regret” about the “hateful” slave trade, but offered no apologies for his family’s involvement.

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