Beautiful Virgin Islands

Monday, Mar 04, 2024

BVI’s anthem, protocols among changes in wake of Queen’s passing

BVI’s anthem, protocols among changes in wake of Queen’s passing

Inmates housed at the Balsam Ghut prison facility may be relieved in the coming weeks to learn that they will no longer have to be housed at Her Majesty‘s Prison.
But that relief may be short-lived when they learn that they will be housed at His Majesty‘s Prison at the same facility instead.

The change in title is just one of many that residents in several Overseas Territories and other countries in the British Commonwealth that may be affected will have to become accustomed to with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, September 8 and the subsequent accession to the throne of King Charles III.

The phrase ‘His Majesty’s Government’ of the Virgin Islands will now replace Her Majesty’s Government while terms such as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Her Majesty’s Customs, Treasury and Ship will also have to be changed.

Some government officials will now be serving at His Majesty’s pleasure instead of Her Majesty’s pleasure as has been the custom for decades.

Every-day activities and things such as the national anthem, money, passports and various other aspects of life in great Britain and beyond will now change as well, given that there is now a king in place.

With Britain’s national anthem switching to “God Save the King,” and male-version lyrics, many in the BVI may initially be left fumbling as those lyrics have not been sung for seventy years, since 1952.

And while the issue of currency does not directly affect the BVI given that the territory uses United States (US) notes for its currency, many nationals living in the BVI who are from nearby countries, such as those using the Eastern Carribean (EC) dollar, will be affected given the fact that this currency bears the late Queen’s image.

In the BVI, the wording on the inside cover for holders of British passports will also have to be updated, as they too are issued in the name of the Crown.

Queen’s Counsel to King’s Counsel

In law, senior lawyers will now change from being a QC (Queen’s Counsel) to a KC (King’s Counsel). A notice issued by the Bar Council upon the Queen’s passing, said this change was automatic and therefore was effective immediately.

In the meantime, the annual Speech from the Throne given by the Governor in the House of Assembly (HOA) will no longer be presented on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen but will instead be given on behalf of His Majesty the King.

Many of these changes will take some time to be implemented and several countries may have to revise various aspects of their legislation in order to do so as some elements are part of their constitution.
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