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After he was named king, the first of 14 countries headed by Charles intends to vote to become a republic

After he was declared king, Charles was the first of the 14 nations to vote as a republic.

(CNN)–The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda said the Caribbean nation will hold a referendum on whether to become a republic and remove King Charles III as head of state within the next few years.

The former British colony gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1981, but is one of 14 countries other than the United Kingdom where it is headed by a British monarch. It is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, a 56-member organization mostly from former British territories.

After King Charles III was crowned King of Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday, Prime Minister Gaston Brown told ITV News he plans to hold a referendum on whether the country should become a republic within the next three years.

“This is a question to be put to a referendum,” Brown said, adding that it “does not mean any disrespect to the King. It is not an act of hostility, or any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy.”

“It is the final step to complete the cycle of independence to become a truly sovereign nation,” he explained.

Questions were raised in March about the monarchy’s continued role in the region after William and Catherine, then the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited three Commonwealth countries – Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas – to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee. 70th to the throne.

The trip was fraught with complications, with the Jamaican prime minister telling them the country was “moving forward” and would achieve its “true ambition” to be “independent”.

Last year, Barbados severed its last imperial ties with Britain and declared itself a republic.

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The Barbados decision marks the first time in nearly three decades that a world has chosen to remove a British monarch as head of state. The last country to do so was the island of Mauritius in 1992. Like this country, Barbados was part of the Commonwealth.