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The monarchy of Jamaica is a
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
al system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin word ''superānus'', meaning "above". The roles of a sovereign v ...
and
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
of
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...

Jamaica
. The terms ''
Crown in Right of
Crown in Right of
Jamaica'', ''Her Majesty in Right of Jamaica'', or ''The Queen in Right of Jamaica'' may also be used to refer to the entire executive of the government of Jamaica. Though the Jamaican Crown has its roots in the
British Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, British Overseas Territories, overseas territories, Provinces and territorie ...
, it has evolved to become a distinctly Jamaican institution, represented by its own unique symbols. The present monarch is
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A constitutional mo ...

Queen Elizabeth II
—officially titled Queen of Jamaica—who has reigned since 6 August 1962. She and other members of the
Royal Family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest borough of New York City New York City (NYC), often simp ...
undertake various public and private functions across Jamaica and on behalf of the country abroad. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role, holding ultimate
executive authority The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government that enforces law, and has Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. In political systems based on the principle ...
, though her
Royal Prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions wr ...
remains bound by laws enacted by her in parliament and by
convention Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty, an agreement in international law * Convention (meeting), meeting of a (usually large) group of individuals and/or companies in a ...
s and precedents, leaving the day-to-day exercise of executive power to her
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
. While several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal constitutional and ceremonial duties in Jamaica are carried out by the Queen's representative, the governor-general. While several British kings ruled over Jamaica before independence, none held the specific, separate title "King of Jamaica." Elizabeth II, besides reigning in Jamaica, separately serves as monarch for each of fourteen other
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
s. This developed from the former colonial relationship of these countries to Britain, now independent each realm of the Commonwealth is legally distinct.


International and domestic aspects

Jamaica has the same person as their monarch as other
Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a perma ...
s. Each country is sovereign and independent of the others,The Court of Appeal of England and Wales, English Court of Appeal ruled in 1982, while "there is only one person who is the Sovereign within the British Commonwealth ... in matters of law and government the Queen of the United Kingdom, for example, is entirely independent and distinct from the Queen of Canada"
R v Foreign Secretary; Ex parte Indian Association, QB 892 at 928; as referenced in High Court of Australia: Sue v Hill [1999] HCA 30; 23 June 1999; S179/1998 and B49/1998
/ref> meaning the Jamaican monarchy has both a separate and a shared character, and the monarchy has also thus ceased to be an exclusively British institution, although it has often been called ''British'' since this time (in both legal and common language) for reasons historical, political, and of convenience. On all matters of the Jamaican state, the monarch is advised solely by Jamaican Minister of the Crown, Ministers of the Crown. and, effective with the Jamaica Independence Act, 1962, no British or other realm government can advise the monarch on matters pertinent to Jamaica. Given these arrangements, it is considered impossible for the monarch of Jamaica to receive an ambassador from, or send an ambassador to, any country of which he or she is also monarch; essentially sending an ambassador to him or herself. Instead, the practice of sending High Commissioner (Commonwealth), High Commissioners developed, wherein an individual is sent to be a representative in one realm of the government in another.


Title and style

The shared and domestic aspects of the Crown are also highlighted in the sovereign's Jamaican title, currently ''Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Jamaica and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth''. The sovereign's role specifically as Queen of Jamaica, as well as her status as monarch of other nations, is communicated by mentioning Jamaica separately from, but along with, the Queen's other lands. Typically, the sovereign is styled ''Queen of Jamaica'', and is addressed as such when in Jamaica or performing duties on behalf of Jamaica abroad.


Finance

The sovereign only draws from Jamaican coffers for support in the performance of her duties when in Jamaica or acting as Queen of Jamaica abroad; Jamaicans do not pay any money to the Queen, either towards personal income or to support royal residences outside Jamaica. This applies equally to other members of the royal family. Normally, tax dollars pay only for the costs associated with the Governor-General in the exercise of the powers of the Crown, including travel, security, residences, offices, ceremonies, and the like.


Succession

Succession is by primogeniture, absolute primogeniture governed by the provisions of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, as well as the Act of Settlement 1701, Act of Settlement, 1701, and the Bill of Rights 1689, Bill of Rights, 1689. This legislation limits the succession to the natural (i.e. non-adoption, adopted), legitimate descendants of Sophia of Hanover, Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and stipulates that the monarch cannot be a Roman Catholic, nor married to one, and must be in communion with the Church of England upon ascending the throne. Though these constitutional laws, as they apply to Jamaica, still lie within the control of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, British parliament, via adopting the Statute of Westminster both the United Kingdom and Jamaica agreed not to change the rules of succession without the unanimous consent of the other realms, unless explicitly leaving the shared monarchy relationship; a situation that applies identically in all the other realms, and which has been likened to a treaty amongst these countries. Thus, Jamaica's line of succession remains identical to Succession to the British Throne, that of the United Kingdom. Upon a ''demise of the Crown'' (the death or abdication of a sovereign) it is customary for the accession of the new monarch to be publicly Proclamation, proclaimed by the Governor-General. Regardless of any proclamations, the late sovereign's heir immediately and automatically succeeds, without any need for confirmation or further ceremony; hence arises the phrase "The king is dead, long live the king!" Following an appropriate period of mourning, the monarch is also coronation of the British monarch, crowned in the United Kingdom, though this ritual is not necessary for a sovereign to reign; for example, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, Edward VIII was never crowned, yet was undoubtedly king during his short time on the throne. All incumbent viceroys, judges, National Union of Public Workers, civil servants, legislators, military officers, etc., are not affected by the death of the monarch. After an individual ascends the throne, he or she typically continues to reign until death. Monarchs are not allowed to unilaterally abdicate; the only monarch to abdicate, Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, Edward VIII, did so before Jamaica was independent, and, even then, only with the authorization of specials Act of Parliament, Acts of Parliament in the British Dominions, Dominions.


Personification of the state

Since the independence of Jamaica, the sovereign's role as monarch of Jamaica has been recognised and promoted as separate to his or her position as monarch of the United Kingdom. From the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II's reign onwards, royal symbols in Jamaica were altered or new ones created to make them distinctly Jamaican, such as the augmentation of the Coat of arms of Jamaica, Royal Arms of Jamaica in 1962 and Queen's Personal Jamaican Flag, Queen's Royal Standard for Jamaica, created in 1962. Today the sovereign is regarded as the personification, or legal personality, of the Jamaican Sovereign state, state. Therefore, the state is referred to as ''Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Jamaica''; for example, if a lawsuit is filed against the government, the respondent is formally described as ''Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Jamaica'', or simply ''Queen regnant, Regina''. As such, the monarch is the owner of all state lands (called ''Crown land''), buildings and equipment (called ''Crown held property''), state owned companies (called ''Crown Corporations''), and the copyright for all government publications (called ''Crown copyright''), as well as guardianship of foster children (called ''Crown wards''), in his or her position as sovereign, and not as an individual. Government staff are also employed by the monarch, as are the Governor-General, judges, members of the Jamaica Defence Force, police officers, and Parliament of Jamaica, parliamentarians, who all technically work for the monarch. Many employees of the Crown were once required by law to recite an oath of allegiance to the monarch before taking their posts, in Reciprocity (social and political philosophy), reciprocation to the sovereign's Coronation Oath, wherein he or she promises "to govern the Peoples of ... Jamaica ... according to their respective laws and customs". Save for that taken by senators, the oaths of allegiance were altered in 2002, removing mention of the monarch.


Constitutional role

Jamaica's constitution is made up of a variety of statutes and conventions that are either British or Jamaican in origin, which gives Jamaica a similar parliamentary system of government to the other Commonwealth realms, wherein the role of the Queen and the Governor-General is both legal and practical. The Crown is regarded as a corporation, in which several parts share the authority of the whole, with the Queen as the person at the centre of the constitutional construct, meaning all powers of state are constitutionally reposed in the monarch, who is represented by the Governor-General of Jamaica, Governor-Generalappointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister of Jamaica. Most of the Queen's domestic duties are performed by this Viceroy, vice-regal representative, though she is briefed through regular communications from her Jamaican ministers, and holds audience with them whenever possible. All institutions of government are said to act under the sovereign's authority; the vast powers that belong to the Crown are collectively known as the
Royal Prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions wr ...
. Parliamentary approval is not required for the exercise of the Royal Prerogative; moreover, the consent of the Crown must be obtained before either of the houses of parliament may even debate a bill affecting the sovereign's prerogatives or interests. While the Royal Prerogative is extensive, it is not unlimited; for example, the monarch does not have the prerogative to impose and collect new taxessuch an action requires the authorization of an Act of Parliament. The government of Jamaica is also thus formally referred to as ''Politics of Jamaica, Her Majesty's Government''. Further, the constitution instructs that any change to the position of the monarch, or the monarch's representative in Jamaica, requires the consent of a two-thirds majority of each house of parliament. When Jamaica attained fully responsible status within the Commonwealth provision for the new constitution, with effect from 6 August 1962, was made by The Jamaica (Constitution) Order in Council 1962, under the West Indies Act, 1962 and the Jamaica Independence Act, 1962. The Form of Oath of Allegiance set out in the First Schedule of the Order in Council, is a declaration of allegiance to "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors".


Executive (Queen-in-Council)

In Jamaica's constitutional system, one of the main duties of the Crown is to appoint a prime minister, who thereafter heads the
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
and Advice (constitutional), advises the monarch and Governor-General on how to execute their executive powers over all aspects of government operations and foreign affairs; this requirement is, unlike in other Commonwealth realms where it is a matter of Convention (norm)#Government, convention, constitutionally enshrined in Jamaica. Though the monarch's power is still a part of the executive processthe operation of the Cabinet is technically known as the ''Queen-in-Council'' (or ''Governor-in-Council'')the advice tendered is typically binding. Since the death of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, Queen Anne in 1714, the last monarch to head the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, British Cabinet, the monarch ''reigns'' but does not ''rule''. This means that the monarch's role, and thereby the viceroys' role, is almost entirely symbolic and cultural, acting as a symbol of the legal authority under which all governments and agencies operate, while the Cabinet directs the use of the Royal Prerogative, which includes the privilege to declare war, maintain the Queen's peace, and direct the actions of the Jamaica Defence Force, as well as to Parliamentary session, summon and prorogue parliament, and Dropping the writ, call elections. However, it is important to note that the Royal Prerogative belongs to the Crown, and not to any of the ministers, though it may sometimes appear that way, and the royal figures may unilaterally use these powers in exceptional constitutional crisis situations. There are also a few duties which must be specifically performed by, or bills that require assent by, the Queen. These include signing the appointment papers of Governors-General, the confirmation of awards of Jamaican honours system, and the approval of any change in her Jamaican title. In accordance with
convention Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty, an agreement in international law * Convention (meeting), meeting of a (usually large) group of individuals and/or companies in a ...
, the monarch or Governor-General, to maintain the stability of government, must appoint as prime minister the individual most likely to maintain the support of the Parliament of Jamaica, House of Representatives: usually the leader of the List of political parties in Jamaica, political party with a majority in that house, but also when no party or coalition holds a majority (referred to as a minority government situation), or other scenarios in which the Governor-General's judgement about the most suitable candidate for prime minister has to be brought into play. The Governor-General also appoints to the Cabinet the other Minister of the Crown, ministers of the Crown, who are, in turn, accountable to the democratically elected House of Representatives, and through it, to the people. The Queen is informed by her viceroy of the acceptance of the resignation of a prime minister and the swearing-in of a new prime minister and other members of the Cabinet of Jamaica, ministry. Members of various executive agencies, and other officials are appointed by the Crown. The commissioning of privy councillors, Parliament of Jamaica, senators, the Speaker of the Senate, Politics of Jamaica#Judicial branch, Supreme Court justices also falls under the Royal Prerogative, though these duties are specifically assigned to the Governor-General by the constitution. Public inquiries are also commissioned by the Crown through a Royal warrant (document), Royal Warrant, and are called Royal Commissions.


Foreign affairs

The Royal Prerogative also extends to foreign affairs: the sovereign or Governor-General negotiates and ratifies treaties, alliances, and international agreements. As with other uses of the Royal Prerogative, no parliamentary approval is required; however, a treaty cannot alter the domestic laws of Jamaica; an Act of Parliament is necessary in such cases. The Governor-General, on behalf of the Queen, also accredits Jamaican High Commissioners and ambassadors, and receives diplomats from foreign states.


Parliament (Queen-in-Parliament)

The sovereign, along with the Senate of Jamaica, Senate and the House of Representatives of Jamaica, House of Representatives, is one of the three components of Parliament of Jamaica, Parliament, called the ''Queen-in-Parliament''. The authority of the Crown therein is embodied in the mace for each house, which both bear a crown at their apex. Per the constitution, the monarch does not, however, participate in the legislative process; the viceroy does, though only in the granting of Royal Assent. Further, the constitution outlines that the Governor-General alone is responsible for summoning, Legislative session, proroguing, and dissolution of Parliament, dissolving parliament, after which the Writ of election, writs for a general election are usually Dropping the writ, dropped by the Governor-General at King's House, Jamaica, Government House. The new parliamentary session is marked by the State Opening of Parliament, during which either the monarch or the Governor-General reads the Speech from the Throne. As the monarch and viceroy cannot enter the House of Representatives, this, as well as the bestowing of Royal Assent, takes place in the Senate chamber; Members of Parliament are summoned to these ceremonies from the Commons by the Crown's messenger, the Black Rod, Usher of the Black Rod, after he knocks on the doors of the lower house that have been slammed closed on him, to symbolise the barring of the monarch from the assembly. All laws in Jamaica are enacted only with the viceroy's granting of Royal Assent; usually done by the Governor-General, with the Broad Seal of Jamaica. Thus, all bills begin with the phrase "BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Representatives of Jamaica, and by the authority of the same, as follows..."


Courts (Queen-on-the-Bench)

The sovereign is deemed the ''fount of justice'', and is responsible for rendering justice for all subjects, known in this role as the ''Queen's Bench, Queen on the Bench''. However, he or she does not personally rule in judicial cases; instead, judicial functions are performed in his or her name by what are termed ''Her Majesty's Justice of the Peace, Justices of the Peace''. Hence, the common law holds that the sovereign "can do no wrong"; the monarch cannot be prosecuted in his or her own courts for criminal offences. Civil lawsuits against the Crown in its public capacity (that is, lawsuits against the government) are permitted; however, lawsuits against the monarch personally are not cognizable. In international cases, as a
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin word ''superānus'', meaning "above". The roles of a sovereign v ...
and under established principles of international law, the Queen of Jamaica is not subject to suit in foreign courts without her express consent. The sovereign, and by extension the governor-general, also exercises the ''Pardon, prerogative of mercy'', and may pardon offences against the Crown, either before, during, or after a trial. In addition, the monarch also serves as a symbol of the legitimacy of courts of justice, and of their judicial authority. An image of the Queen or the Coat of arms of Jamaica is always displayed in Jamaican courtrooms.


Royal visits

The Queen's first visit to Jamaica was in November 1953.Royal visits
/ref> At Jamaica's independence celebrations in 1962, the Queen of Jamaica was represented by her sister Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Princess Margaret, where she opened the first session of the Parliament of Jamaica on behalf of The Queen. The Queen visited Jamaica again in March 1966. The same year Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by his son, Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, toured Jamaica as part of his visit there to open 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, that year's Commonwealth Games. Other visits by the Queen took place in April 1975, February 1983, March 1994, and February 2002.


Golden Jubilee Tour 2002

The Queen's first official engagements related to the Golden Jubilee took place in
Jamaica Jamaica (; ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or ...

Jamaica
. Her tour of the island also coincided with the country's 40th anniversary of independence. She and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived for the celebrations on 18 February 2002. The Queen was first welcomed in Montego Bay, after which she travelled to Kingston, Jamaica, Kingston and stayed at her Prime Minister of Jamaica, Jamaican prime minister's residence, Jamaica House. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were "enthusiastically welcomed" by Jamaicans; 57% of those polled said the visit was important to the country and large crowds turned out to see her. The Queen received an official welcome at King's House, Jamaica, King's House, the Governor-General of Jamaica, Governor-General's residence, met with Jamaican veterans of the World War I, First World War, addressed her Parliament of Jamaica, Jamaican parliament, and visited an underprivileged area of Kingston, Jamaica, Kingston, known as Trenchtown, viewing urban poverty projects while there. The tour ended on a unique note when, at the final banquet in Jamaica, a power outage plunged King's House into darkness during the meal; the Queen described the event as "memorable".


Diamond Jubilee Tour 2012

Prince Harry toured Jamaica between 5 and 8 March 2012, participating in various events marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Jamaica concurrently celebrated its 50 years of independence. During the tour, the Prince partook in military exercises with the Jamaica Defence Force, visited Bustamante Hospital for Children and, in Trelawny Parish, visited Water Square, Falmouth Pier, and the William Knibb Baptist Church, where he paid respect at the William Knibb memorial. The Prince attended an event for the charity Rise Life, ran with Usain Bolt at the latter's training ground at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, Mona. There, he was also named an Honorary Fellow of the university. A Jamaica Night reception was held at the Royal Caribbean Hotel in Montego Bay and Governor-General of Jamaica Sir Patrick Allen (politician), Patrick Allen hosted a dinner at King's House, Jamaica, King's House, as a combined celebration of the Diamond Jubilee and Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence. The Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, stated the tour was intended to "highlight the country's tourism developments on the North Coast and the important work being done in the area of youth and children". The Governor-General and his wife travelled to London to partake in various events there in June, including a reception held by the High Commissioner of Jamaica to the UK. Jamaica's Diamond Jubilee celebrations proceeded despite Miller's ongoing work to have the country become a republic.


Popularity

Prior to the Queen's 2002 visit, the newspaper ''Gleaner Company, Jamaica Gleaner'' said "So as Jamaica looks back, let it also look forward. Let this visit not so much renew old ties as cement new ones." The BBC reported that "despite republican sentiments in the country she was given an enthusiastic welcome." A poll taken in 2002 showed that 57% of Jamaicans thought that the Queen's visit to Jamaica as part of her Golden Jubilee tour was important.


Queen's Personal Flag for Jamaica

The Queen has a personal flag in her role as Queen of Jamaica. It was first used when she visited Jamaica in 1966, as part of her Caribbean tour. The flag consists of a banner of the Coat of Arms of Jamaica, coat of arms of Jamaica defaced with the Queen's Royal Cypher. The flag is white and bears a red St George's Cross. A gold pineapple is superimposed on each arm of the Cross. A blue disc with the Royal Cypher is placed in the centre of the Cross. The disc is taken from the Personal Flag of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen's Personal Flag.Symbols and ceremonies


Republicanism

Individuals in both major political parties in Jamaica have voiced support for making Jamaica a republic. In September 2003, then Prime Minister of Jamaica P. J. Patterson called for Jamaica to abolish the monarchy by 2007. Bruce Golding, while prime minister and leader of the conservative Jamaica Labour Party, also pledged that Jamaica shall "take steps to amend the constitution to replace the Queen with a Jamaican President who symbolises the unity of the nation". Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller expressed her intention to make Jamaica a republic to coincide with the country's 50th anniversary of independence in August 2012, but did not follow through with the proposed change which would require the support of two-thirds of both houses in the Parliament of Jamaica to pass; Simpson-Miller's People's National Party had a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives but was one seat short in the Senate and would have needed the support of at least one senator from the opposition Jamaica Labour Party in order to have the constitutional reform approved. The current leader of the JLP, Andrew Holness, who succeeded Simpson-Miller as prime minister in 2016, has announced that his government will amend the Constitution to make Jamaica a republic. Specifically, the government has pledged to introduce a constitutional amendment to "replace Her Majesty The Queen with a non-executive president as head of state". During the 2020 Jamaican general election the opposition (People's National Party) promised to hold a referendum on becoming a republic within 18 months if it won the election. and polls suggested that 55% of Jamaicans desired the country become a republic. However, the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, which had in 2016 promised a referendum but not carried one out, was re-elected.


See also

* Constitution of Jamaica * Jamaican High Commission in London * List of monarchies * Monarchies in the Americas


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Jamaica Government of Jamaica Commonwealth realms Heads of state of Jamaica, Monarchies of North America Jamaica–United Kingdom relations Jamaica and the Commonwealth of Nations Kingdoms, Monarchy of Jamaica