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Bonds of EmpireWest Indians and Britishness from Victoria to Decolonization$
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Anne Spry Rush

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588558

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588558.001.0001

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Royalty and the Bonds of Empire

Royalty and the Bonds of Empire

(p.47) 2 Royalty and the Bonds of Empire
Bonds of Empire

Anne Spry Rush

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the first of three case studies that explore the place of the British royal family in Jamaicans’ understanding of and identification with Britishness. It explores Jamaican views of Queen Victoria and the monarchy more generally, and examines the varied roles played by Jamaicans in royal occasions from 1900 to the mid-1930s. Many Jamaicans, particularly those of the middle-class, admired Victoria, whom they saw as the caring and respectable mother of an idealized imperial family, as well as a proponent of liberty and equitable treatment for all Britons, including colonial subjects. When combined with their familiarity with and participation in royal rituals, these beliefs about the monarch helped create in many Jamaicans a strong identification with the British royal family and the empire it represented.

Keywords:   Britishness, Jamaican, justice, loyalty, monarch, mother, respectability, royal events, imperial family, Victoria

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