Ahead of debates at Tuesday’s sitting of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly, Members of the house were given the opportunity to express their condolences and share their memories of the reign of her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Acting Premier, The Honourable Kye Rymer told the house “It is no question in my mind that 70 years, just being alive is a blessing… but it is also one of a life of service and should be recognized for what it is. Madam speaker I know there has been up until yesterday the United Kingdom and all of the Overseas Territories had observed 11 days of mourning for the passing of the Queen… It is never good losing a loved one, it is not something that you can just get accustomed to and I know to her immediate family and those that she left behind they would have their memories”.

After listening to multiple brief tributes in which members reflected on Queen’s great legacy, shared memories of her visits to the Territory and noted the importance of maintaining a positive relationship with the Monarchy now led by King Charles III, Leader of the Opposition Julian Fraser rose to chastise the house for not honouring the queen with a special sitting for tributes on her passing.

“Madam Speaker, as the rest of the world mourns, we here in the Virgin Islands mourn as well. I must say, Madam Speaker, that this honourable house for some reason has dropped the ball because we should’ve had a special sitting for tribute as a House of Assembly for the Queen on her passing”, he said.

Nonetheless, Fraser continued in the pattern of that morning’s proceedings and too offered his condolences to the Royal Family. He told the HoA, “I wish to extend condolences to the family, the Royal Family, like everyone else. After All, Madam Speaker the Constitution says there shall be a legislature and it started with the Queen, that will change to the King”.

Of changes which have already begun, and the changes that are due to come with the new Monarch, Fraser said that what has really stood out for him, allowing him to grasp the reality of this change has been the effect on terms he had been accustomed to all his life, and political career.

In addition to noting that he is now Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, which has replaced Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Fraser said “it only hit me when I learned that the layers that I got so used to being called QC’s (Queen’s Counsel) have to now be called KC’s (King’s Counsel)”.

Fraser also recognized that while Her Majesty’s passing has been a time to pay special homage, particularly in the Commonwealth and Overseas Territories where she was head of state up until her death, in many places it has drawn mixed feelings from citizens and social leaders.

After stating that Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign as a once in a lifetime occurrence, Fraser chimed into discussions which have been sparked in her death surrounding the less noble history which surrounds Royalty and colonialism in the world.

“We are talking today, a lot of us are talking today about the British and the British Rule, what the Monarchy meant to the world, not in glowing terms in every corner of the conversation Madam Speaker. There are people in South Africa who refuse the knowledge of her existence much less her passing. There are people in other parts of the world, Jamaica and here in the British Virgin Islands but when I look there is no denying the association of Royalty with the atrocities that took place in the world… I took my queue, Madam Speaker, from Nelson Mandela… and when I watched him, Madam Speaker, and the type of comradery that was developed between Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II, who am I to cast stones?”, he said.

Fraser said he has no doubt that King Charles III will be a good King, because ahead of taking the throne he has had every necessary experience, even if only by observation of his mother.