The Queen has sent a message of good wishes to His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams, Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, to mark their 40th Anniversary of Independence.
Antigua and Barbuda were formally British colonies. Antigua was first colonised by the English in 1632 and Barbuda in 1678. Though originally separate colonies, Barbuda became a dependency of Antigua in the mid-nineteenth century.
With the West Indies Act of 1967, Antigua became fully self-governing in regards to all internal affairs with the United Kingdom, keeping the responsibility of both external affairs and defence.
An independence movement gained momentum in the 1970s. On 1 November 1981, Antigua and Barbuda gained independence from the United Kingdom. Although they were no longer a British colony, the nation gained Commonwealth membership and are still members. The Queen is known there officially as The Queen of Antigua and Barbuda.
The Queen shared her message on the Royal Family’s social media accounts.
“It gives me great pleasure to send my congratulations to the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda as you celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Independence.
“I extend my warm good wishes for your continued happiness and prosperity on this significant occasion and in the future. Elizabeth“
Her Majesty (and the Duke of Edinburgh) have visited Antigua and Barbuda multiple times. They first visited the islands on their 1966 Caribbean tour. They visited again in October 1977 on the Queen’s Silver Jubilee tour and again in 1985.
The Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, opened the nation’s new parliament building in 2006 to mark the 25th anniversary of independence.
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, is attending the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. Several members of the Royal Family will be in attendance, including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
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