Jamaica’s new Prime Minister has vowed to abandon the Queen as head of state weeks after it was announced Prince Harry will make a Diamond Jubilee visit to the country.
Portia Simpson Miller’s pledge came as she took the oath of office and she said her administration would adopt a republican form of government.
Harry is due to visit the Caribbean country later this year to mark the monarch’s 60-year reign – one of many foreign tours being made by the Royal Family to celebrate the milestone.
It is not thought the proposed constitutional changes to Jamaica will disrupt the trip.
Making her inaugural address yesterday at the governor-general’s official residence in the capital Kingston, the Prime Minister said: “I love the Queen. She is a beautiful lady, and apart from being a beautiful lady, a wise lady and a wonderful lady.” She then added in Jamaican patois “but I think time come”.
Jamaica celebrates its golden jubilee this year, having declared independence from Britain in 1962, but the island has remained a member of the Commonwealth and still has the Queen as head of state.
Mrs Simpson Miller added: “This 50th anniversary year will be a time for reflection on the lessons of the past; and as we celebrate our achievements as an independent nation, we now need to complete the circle of independence.
“In this regard, we will therefore initiate the process of our detachment from the monarch to become a republic with our own indigenous president as head of state.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “The issue of the Jamaican head of state is entirely a matter for the Jamaican government and people.”
Harry will tour Jamaica in early March and he is almost certain to meet Mrs Simpson Miller at some point during his trip.