By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. May 4, 2023: Despite talk of moving to a Republic and a push for reparations, Caribbean prime ministers Gaston Browne of Antigua & Barbuda and Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lead a list of leaders from the region who are in London to attend the coronation of King Charles, III on Saturday, May 6th. The governors general of the islands are also set to attend the ceremony.

Joseph Afrane sits on the street called “The Mall” in front of Buckingham Palace. The coronation of King Charles III will take place in London on May 6. Photo: Sina Schuldt/dpa (Photo by Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty Images)

THE OTHERS FROM THE REGION ATTENDING ARE:

The Bahamas – Prime Minister Phillip Davis and opposition leader Michael Pintard as well as Governor General Sir Cornelius Smith.

St. Kitts & Nevis – Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew plus the country’s governor general.

Grenada – Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell plus the country’s governor general.

Guyana – President Dr Irfaan Ali and a delegation. Guyana is a Republic but remains part of the Commonwealth.

Dominican Republic – President Luis Abinader

British Caribbean Overseas Territories

Premiers from the Caribbean British territories will also be present.

BVI – Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley.

Cayman Islands – Governor Jane Owen and Premier Wayne Panton.

Turks & Caicos – Acting Governor General Anya Williams, Governor and Premier Charles Washington Misick.

OTHER COUNTRIES

Other nations are sending their governor general, the King’s representative on the islands/nations. They include Jamaica, St. Lucia and Belize.

Jamaica’s PM Andrew Holness, who has insisted Jamaica will drop the King as its head of state and move to becoming a Republic, is skipping the coronation as is St. Lucia’s PM. The countries will be represented by their Governors General, Sir Patrick Allen and Errol Charles, respectively.

CALL FOR APOLOGY FOR SLAVERY

Ahead of the coronation, indigenous and other advocacy groups from 12 British Commonwealth countries have called on the new British monarch to, on the date of his coronation, “acknowledge the horrific impacts on and legacy of genocide and colonization of the indigenous and enslaved peoples.”

In a letter dated May 4, representatives from organizations from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean called on King Charles to “immediately commit to starting discussions about reparations,” repatriating remains and returning cultural artifacts.

King Charles remains the official head of state for members of the British Commonwealth, a group of countries that were part of Britain’s former colonial empire.

“We stand united in engaging a process to right the wrongs of the past and to continue the process of decolonization,” the letter says. “We are united in our struggle to create a world free of the vestiges of racism and oppression that still pervade today and are a direct legacy of the dehumanization of our First Peoples and enslaved peoples that has occurred throughout the colonial era.”

POLL

A new poll released by Lord Ashcroft Polls found that Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas and Jamaica would vote to become republics in a referendum tomorrow. More said they would vote for a republic than the monarchy in Antigua (by 47% to 45%), the Bahamas (by 51% to 27%) and Jamaica (by 49% to 40%). The remainder in each case said they didn’t know or would not vote.

The other five countries in the Caribbean region where King Charles is head of state would choose to remain constitutional monarchies. They include Belize (by 48% to 43%), Grenada (by 56% to 42%), St Kitts & Nevis (by 52% to 45%), St Lucia (by 56% to 39%) and St Vincent and The Grenadines (by 63% to 34%).

CARIBBEAN MILITARY PRESENCE

Meanwhile, military marching troops from several Caribbean nations and territories are also expected to participate in the procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

They include representatives from the Royal Anguilla Police Force, the Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF), the Royal Bermuda Regiment, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force and the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force.

PUBLIC HOLIDAY

Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Turks & Caicos and the British Virgin Islands have all made it a public holiday on Mon, May 8th to mark the Coronation of King Charles III.

THE CORONATION

The Coronation Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 6th at Westminster Abbey and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the event, His Majesty King Charles III will be crowned alongside The Queen Consort. The coronation will be the first in almost 70 years – the last being for Elizabeth II in June 1953 – and the first held on a Saturday since Edward VII in 1902.

Buckingham Palace has indicated that the ceremony will combine the ancient and modern – saying it will be “rooted in longstanding traditions” but will also “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future.”

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