Republicanism in Antigua and Barbuda is a movement for the replacement of the constitutional monarchy of Antigua and Barbuda with a republican form of government.


Antigua and Barbuda became independent from the United Kingdom in 1981 and is currently one of 15 Commonwealth members that share the same individual as monarch and head of state.[1] Its system of government is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy.[2]


In 1994, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Lester Bird reportedly stated to Fidel Castro that he contemplated moving Antigua and Barbuda towards becoming a republic. After Bird explained that the then-Queen did not interfere in the country's politics, Castro suggested that Antigua and Barbuda remain as it is, as the monarch may provide a confidence in the constitution.[3][4]

Information Minister Melford Nicholas said in 2020 that Antigua and Barbuda was likely to consider becoming a republic in the future, but that the focus at the time was returning the economy to its state prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.[5]

After Barbados became a republic in November 2021, Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez called for the government of Antigua and Barbuda to do the same.[6] The Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission, Dorbrene O’Marde, echoed Fernandez, but went on to say the move could include challenges.[7] O'Marde sugegsted considering the Dominican Republic model.[8] Political and social commentator Carlon Knight said that other structural matters should be tended to before Antigua and Barbuda became a republic.[9][10][11]

During a royal tour by the Earl and Countess of Wessex in April 2022, the Prime Minister stated that Antigua and Barbuda would "one day become a republic", but the move was "not on the cards" at that time.[12][13] In the same month, historian Ivor Ford suggested that most people in Antigua and Barbuda wanted to replace the Queen as head of state. He added that young people don't relate to the royal family and that the new head of state should be democratically elected.[14]

In June, the government clarified its position by saying that becoming a republic was not a current priority.[15]

In September 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne said he would call for a referendum on becoming a republic in the next term of government,[16] within three years.[17] He added, “This is not an act of hostility or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy, but it is the final step to complete that circle of independence, to ensure that we are truly a sovereign nation."[17][18][19][20] He said that this would not mean losing commonwealth membership, and "I think most people haven’t even bothered to think about it."[1] Antigua and Barbuda was the first country to suggest a move towards becoming a republic after the death of Elizabeth II.[21]

In the same month, Chief of staff to Browne Lionel Hurst said on the prospect of whether the country would want to take the step to becoming a republic, "We're not sure yet". If Gaston Browne were to win the 2023 Antiguan general election, the years before a referendum would include "selling the idea" to Antiguans and Barbudans.[22]

In May 2023, following the coronation of King Charles III, the cabinet released a statement, “Despite their participation, the Head of Government reiterated his administration’s determination to bring about a Republican form of Government, rather than continue ad infinitum the constitutional monarchy as now exists.” An update on a timeframe was not detailed. Browne also hoped to shift from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to the Caribbean Court of Justice.[23]

Opinion polling

A 2023 Lord Ashcroft poll found that 47 per cent of those surveyed favoured becoming a republic, with 45 percent preferring to keep the monarchy and eight per cent undecided.[24][25]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Antigua and Barbuda planning vote to become republic within three years, media report". Reuters. 2022-09-11. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  2. ^ "Antigua and Barbuda", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 2023-05-02, retrieved 2023-05-09
  3. ^ "COMMENTARY: Has the time come for Caribbean Republics?". Antigua News Room. 2020-09-17. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  4. ^ S, Ronald; ers (2020-09-21). "Has the time come for Caribbean republics?". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  5. ^ "Antigua and Barbuda in no rush to become a republic". Antigua News Room. 2020-09-22. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  6. ^ jennelsa.johnson (2021-12-01). "Fernandez wants A&B to follow Barbados' lead and become a Republic". Antigua Observer Newspaper. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  7. ^ "'Antigua and Barbuda should aspire to republicanism, but there will be challenges' –O'Marde".
  8. ^ "Antigua and Barbuda: The Republic". Antigua News Room. 2022-04-11. Retrieved 2023-05-09.
  9. ^ "Experts discuss views on Antigua and Barbuda becoming a republic".
  10. ^ Fleary, Sinai (2021-12-06). "Antigua and Barbuda the next Caribbean nation to become a republic?". Voice Online. Retrieved 2023-05-11.
  11. ^ "Now Antigua is keen for republic status". Retrieved 2023-05-11.
  12. ^ "Edward and Sophie told Antigua and Barbuda wants to 'one day' be a republic during Caribbean visit".
  13. ^ "Royal couple told of Antigua and Barbuda's wish to be republic". BBC News. 2022-04-25. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  14. ^ "Why British royals face simmering resentment in Caribbean". BBC News. 2022-04-29. Retrieved 2023-05-11.
  15. ^ "Government clarifies republic plans after apparent misunderstandings in UK media".
  16. ^ "PM pledges referendum on country becoming a republic".
  17. ^ a b "Antigua and Barbuda to hold republic referendum within three years, says PM". The Guardian. Press Association. 2022-09-11. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-05-08.
  18. ^ "Antigua and Barbuda plans referendum to become republic". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  19. ^ "Antigua and Barbuda planning vote to become republic within three years, media report". euronews. 2022-09-12. Retrieved 2023-05-11.
  20. ^ "Caribbean republican shift may be slow and limited". Emerald Expert Briefings. oxan–db (oxan–db). 2022-01-01. doi:10.1108/OXAN-DB272836. ISSN 2633-304X.
  21. ^ "Republican Movements Catch Wind in Caribbean After Queen's Death". The St Kitts Nevis Observer. 2022-09-19. Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  22. ^ "'Are We Ready?': Island Nation Debates Cutting Ties With British Monarchy". Retrieved 2023-10-18.
  23. ^ "Antigua Govt set on dropping British monarch as head of state | Loop Caribbean News". Loop News. Retrieved 2023-10-18.
  24. ^ "Uncharted Realms: The Future of the Monarchy in the UK and Around the World - Lord Ashcroft Polls". Retrieved 2023-05-04.