Commonwealth countries mapped: Barbados pushes to drop Queen – which others want the same?

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Within the Commonwealth are 15 Commonwealth Realms, meaning there are 15 other countries with Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch. Barbados is one such nation – but the country has had enough. Today the Caribbean islands revealed it wants to remove the Queen as their head of state and become a republic next year.

November 2021 marks Barbados’ 55th anniversary of independence from the UK.

A speech written by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley stated: “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind.

“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.”

So what are the other countries among the 15 Commonwealth Realms and do they also want to leave?

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda formally became a British colony in 1667.

Independence was granted from United Kingdom on 1 November 1981 when Antigua and Barbuda joined the Commonwealth.


Australia’s process of colonisation began in 1788, several years after Captain Cook’s 1770 voyage in the ship Endeavour when the Briton claimed it as a British territory.

In 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia joined the Commonwealth in 1931, under the Statute of Westminster.

The Australia Act 1986 severed the remaining constitutional ties between. Australia and the UK.

Unearthed reports have previously revealed how the Australian republican movement said membership had surged in the wake of the Brexit vote in 2016, as some had started questioning the benefits of remaining part of “little Britain”.

According to a throwback report by The Telegraph, an “AusExit” campaign, including calls to remove the Union Jack from the flag and remove the British monarch as head of state, gained momentum when Britain voted to leave the EU four years ago.

Australians voted against changing to a republic in a referendum in 1999 and polls have since indicated that support for the change has stagnated or dropped.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas joined the Commonwealth in 1973.

The archipelago became a British crown colony in 1718. states: “As Queen of The Bahamas, Her Majesty plays an important ceremonial and symbolic role in the country, although she is not involved in the day-to-day business of The Bahamas’ Government.

“On a day-to-day basis, The Queen is represented in The Bahamas by a Governor-General, with whom she stays in close contact via her Private Secretaries.”


Belize became a British colony in 1840, known as British Honduras, and a Crown colony in 1862.

Independence was achieved from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981 when it joined the Commonwealth.


Canada was a founder member of the Commonwealth in 1931 when its independence was recognised under the Statute of Westminster.

The Canada Act of 1982 went on to sever the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

According to Canadian site “Polls show consistently that over 50 percent of Canadians favour severing ties with the monarchy” but it is unlikely political leaders will welcome such upheaval anytime soon.


After many years of French rule, Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

From 1958 to 1962 Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies, a short-lived federation of British West Indian colonies.

Then, in 1967, Grenada was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an associated state.

Independence was granted on February 7, 1974 and it’s been in the Commonwealth ever since.


Jamaica came under British colonial rule in 1655.

The Caribbean island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on August 6, 1962.

As explained by UCL’s Constitution Unit, Jamaica has several hurdles to pass before it becomes a Republic.

“In Jamaica, successive Prime Ministers have long advocated that Jamaica should become a republic, and several have committed to achieving that,” they stated.

“Both major parties want Jamaica to become a republic.

“The difficulty lies in the Jamaican constitution, which has very high thresholds for constitutional change: two-thirds majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and any change to the monarchy must also be submitted to referendum.”

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said in 2016 that the country will maintain its links with the Commonwealth even if they decide to replace Queen Elizabeth II as their Head of State.

Opinion in Jamaica is said to be divided about whether a republic is a good idea.

New Zealand

New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire in 1841 and in 1907 it became a dominion.

The county gained full statutory independence in 1947.

The New Zealand Republic Campaign is pushing to ditch the British Royal Family to make way for a New Zealander to become head of state.

Head of the campaign Lewis Holden told local news platform TVNZ1’s Breakfast earlier this year that being a republic would be a fairer system and give equal opportunity.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1975 with Elizabeth II as its Queen.

St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis was colonised in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Caribbean islands joined the Commonwealth in 1983. states: “The Queen is a ‘constitutional Monarch’ in St Christopher and Nevis, meaning that she acts entirely on the advice of her Government ministers on the islands.

“She receives frequent communications from her ministers via her Private Secretaries and is kept well-informed on all key issues affecting the country and its people.”

St Lucia

Britain took definitive control of St Lucia in 1814.

From 1958 to 1962, the island was a member of the West Indies Federation.

On February 22, 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Britain was granted control of Saint Vincent in 1763, and, following seizure by the French in 1779, restored again to British rule in 1783.

It joined the Commonwealth in 1979.

“Her Majesty is in regular contact with Government ministers in the country, and plays a significant symbolic role in island life: appearing on the nation’s bank notes, and as the focus of annual birthday parade celebrations,” explains

Solomon Islands

The Solomon Island came under British rule in 1893 and gained independence in 1978.


Tuvalu came under British jurisdiction in 1877 and was made part of the British Protectorate of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in 1892.

It joined the Commonwealth in 1978.

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