IN November 2021, Barbados cut ties with the British monarchy. Sandra Mason was sworn in as the nation’s first president, ousting the Queen in a ceremony attended by Prince Charles.

“Some have grown up stupid under the Union Jack,” Winston Farrell, a Barbadian poet told those gathered to watch. “Full stop this colonial page.”

The news made international headlines, and caused the royals to send Prince William and Kate on a tour of the Caribbean in hopes of persuading other island nations not to follow suit. It did not go to plan.

Instead, demands for reparations for slavery greeted the royals in Belize, the Bahamas, and Jamaica.

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It is time for Jamaica to "fulfil its destiny" as an "independent" nation, that country’s prime minister Andrew Holness told the visiting Prince.

One month later, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda gave a similar message to Edward, the Queen’s son, just days after he faced protests in St Vincent and the Grenadines. “Britain, your debt is outstanding”, placards read.

The Queen is currently the head of state of 15 nations, including the UK. Eight of those – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines – are in the Caribbean.

She is also the head of state in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.

The National: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.  (Photo by Tim P. Whitby - WPA Pool/Getty Images).

That list may soon shrink, as removing the monarchy “is on the agenda of all Caribbean countries,” Professor Rosalea Hamilton told The National from Jamaica. “As far as we’re concerned we’re on our way, as the prime minister told Prince William (above).”

Hamilton, who organised the open letter calling for reparations for slavery from the monarchy, said what had happened in Barbados had “heightened the discussion”.

While Jamaican politicians have been promising to cut ties with the British royals for decades, change now seems truly imminent, Hamilton said.

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The nation established a new Ministry of Legal and Constitutional Affairs in January. Its head, former Jamaican attorney general Marlene Malahoo Forte QC MP, will update parliament on plans to reform the constitution as soon as next week.

The move has been echoed elsewhere in the Commonwealth, with Australia's newly elected Labor government appointing an “assistant minister for the republic” for the first time.

Matt Thistlethwaite, the Sydney MP handed the role by the new republican prime minister Anthony Albanese (below), told the Guardian that as the Queen “comes to the twilight of her reign, it’s a good opportunity for a serious discussion about what comes next for Australia”.

The National: Anthony Albanese

“Literally hundreds of Australians could perform the role, so why wouldn’t we appoint an Australian as our pinnacle position under the constitution?” he added.

The question is being asked in Canada as well. A poll in the nation conducted around the Queen’s 96th birthday found a majority (51%) favoured removing the British royals as their head of state. Only 26% said Canada should remain a constitutional monarchy.

The direction of travel over the past six years has been strongly in favour of the republicans, and when asked if nations like Barbados and Jamaica were wrong to take steps away from the monarchy, just 8% of Canadians said they were.

However, the countries with a larger population of white people are generally less likely to want to break with the British crown. This is evidenced by polls in New Zealand, where polls show a clear majority of the indigenous Maori population support removing the monarchy while the white population does not.

"There's not a lot of the colonisation traits that come with the British royal family that we want to retain," Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said in February.

Hamilton told The National that the push in Australia seemed to her to be connected to indigenous people’s rights, which has more in common with the Caribbean nations’ experience.

“I noted that their first step is to address indigenous rights and indigenous concerns,” she says.

“Our concern has to do with the colonial past and putting an end to a historical experience that is now seen as a crime against humanity.

“Those experiences are different from ours, although similar from the perspective of being oppressed and exploited.”