The Gambia (Commonwealth realm)

The Gambia
Commonwealth realm
Flag Coat of arms
"Progression, Peace, Progress"
For The Gambia Our Homeland
Location of the Gambia (dark red) in Western Africa.
Capital Banjul
Languages English
Government Constitutional monarchy
   1965–1970 Elizabeth II
  1965–1966 John Warburton Paul
  1966–1970 Farimang Mamadi Singateh
Prime Minister
  1965–1970 Dawda Jawara
Historical era Cold War
   Independence 18 February 1965
   Republic 24 April 1970
Currency Gambian Pound (from 1966)
Calling code +220
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Gambia Colony and Protectorate
The Gambia

The Commonwealth realm of the Gambia was a predecessor to the modern-day republic of The Gambia and an independent state that existed between 1965 and 1970.

When British rule ended in 1965, Gambia was given independence as a Commonwealth realm. The British monarch, Elizabeth II, remained head of state of the Gambia, which shared its Sovereign with the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen's constitutional roles were mostly delegated to the Governor-General of the Gambia. The following governors-generals held office in the Gambia during this period:

  1. John Warburton Paul (18 February 1965 – 9 February 1966)
  2. Farimang Mamadi Singateh ( 9 February 1966 – 24 April 1970)

The Gambia Independence Act 1964 unified the British Crown Colony and Protectorate of the Gambia into the independent sovereign constitutional monarchy of the Gambia. After two referenda on the issue, the monarchy was abolished on 24 April 1970, when the Gambia became a republic within the Commonwealth. The first referendum in 1965, with 65.85% in favour and 34.15 against, failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass. The second in 1970 with 70.45% percent of the Gambian people voting in favour of a republic and 29.55% against, was successful. The Gambia adopted a new constitution in 1970 which abolished the monarchy. The Republic of the Gambia came into existence on the 24 April 1970.

Despite being Head of State of the Gambia from 1965 to 1970, Queen Elizabeth II never actually visited the Gambia in her capacity as Queen of the Gambia. She had visited earlier in 1961 (3–5 December) as Queen of the United Kingdom.

Dawda Jawara, the prime minister (and head of government) of the Gambia from 1965, became the first President of the Gambia following the abolition of the monarchy.

See also


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