But she made it clear that her statements should not be regarded as an attempt to get rid of the Queen, telling reporters that she viewed the visit of Prince Harry as “very important”.
Prince Harry’s visit to Jamaica is the final stop in his visits to Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean. He has already visited Belize and The Bahamas.
Prince Harry, 27, is on his first visit to the Caribbean and is representing his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, who is celebrating her 60th year on the British throne.
Prime Minister Simpson-Miller said the fact that Jamaica is celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, ”I think it is very important”.
Following her victory in the December 29 general elections last year, Prime Minister Simpson-Miller said as the country moves to celebrate its 50th anniversary as an independent nation, a grand Independence gift to the country, would be to replace the Queen as Jamaica’s head of state.
“We came on a long journey, from slavery, to adult suffrage and to our Independence. Our maturity is now saying that we should look to a form of government, where at this time, we would take full charge of our destiny.
“It is not about getting rid of the Queen. Who can get rid of the Queen? I admire the Queen. I am fond of her, she is a wonderful lady, a beautiful lady. I had the pleasure on one of her visits to Jamaica to be sitting there. She was such a warm beautiful person. But, in terms of our history, we have some things to do,” the Prime Minister said..
But she has refused to put a timeline on when her administration would be moving to replace the Queen as head of state.
“We have to get the people of Jamaica agreeing to it, plus, the Government and the Opposition. We are nearly there in terms of Government and the Opposition,” Simpson Miller said.
During his four-day visit, Prince Harry will visit a number of institutions as well as the Usain Bolt Track at the University of the West Indies (UWI), where he will observe child athletes and young national athletes during a training session.
He will be hosted by Prime Minister Simpson-Miller at a lunch at the historic Devon House. He will then depart for the Victoria Jubilee Hospital and will unveil the statue, The Rings of Life, which marks three events in 2012: the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee as an independent nation; and the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital.