Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he will consider a bank holiday for Antigua and Barbuda in recognition of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s Head of State, who passed last Thursday, September 8, at the age of 96.
Monday, September 19, is the date of the funeral, and King Charles III has approved that day as a bank holiday across the United Kingdom.
Last Saturday, Browne was asked whether, similarly, he would consider granting a public holiday here on that date. He said he would have to consult with his regional colleagues first before making that decision.
Meanwhile, Browne confirms that a significant number of changes will have to be made as a result of the Queen’s passing. For example, he says the parliamentary oath has to be changed, since allegiance currently is pledged to the Queen and not to the King.
According to the Prime Minister, when the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) prints another batch of currency, it will replace the Queen’s image with that of her son, King Charles III.
He admits that a formal decision on this has not been taken; rather, he is just making a presumption.
Meanwhile, the law courts have already apprised their officers of the administrative changes to be made with respect to acknowledging the new king.
The Queen’s state funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey, the historic church where Britain’s kings and queens are crowned, and where she married Prince Philip in 1947.
Queen Elizabeth was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.