Bermuda’s next step is that of becoming an independent state, according to Premier David Burt, who expressed such during an interview with the BBC reporter Jane Maddocks Vickers in an interview broadcast today, on the occasion of the State Funeral for the late Queen Elizabeth II.

While reluctant to discuss much in terms of politics and Bermuda’s territorial relationship with the United Kingdom, Mr Burt yet noted a desire for Bermuda’s unadulterated sovereignty.

Asked how relevant the monarchy remained to Bermuda in 2022, Mr Burt responded, saying: “Well, I think that is certainly a question for another day. I think that this is a day for reflection of the Queen’s long life and service.

“But what I will say is that our relation is with the United Kingdom Government, and it is for the United Kingdom, by themselves, to choose their path and, as Bermuda is still an Overseas Territory, our next step is certainly to be a sovereign state.

“But, whatever form that sovereignty takes, will be a matter for discussion another day. But today is a day to reflect on the Queen’s life and service.
“And, as I’ve said, as a politician who has been doing this job I’m now in the sixth year of doing this job to think of doing this for 70 years day in and day out is absolutely incredible.

“The crowds that came out today. The pageantry that was on display was a fitting send off to a monarch who dedicated her life to service.”
Earlier Mr Burt and Governor Rena Lalgie took time to sign the Book of Condolence at Lancaster House, which is managed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Premier shared his view of the funeral spectacle as one of melancholy mixed with great reverence toward a monarch who had dedicated her life to the service of others.

“The service was an quite a sombre event,” Mr Burt told the BBC. “But it was an event that was fit for the longest reigning Head of State in the United Kingdom and the longest serving monarch and Queen Elizabeth’s life of service was, without question, unparalleled.

“To have done what she did for 70 years with such dignity and grace and with the gathering of world leaders that came out, you could tell that they were there to pay the respects and honour the service she gave, not only to her country, but to the entire Commonwealth.”

Asked to describe the level of importance held by the Queen in regard to Bermuda, the Premier told how many held warm remembrance of the departed monarch, who visited Bermuda four times, the last with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip in 2009.

“I think that she will be remembered as someone who fulfilled her role,” said Mr Burt. “There are fond recollections of her rule existing. I was not in public office the last time that she visited in 2009, but I spoke about that visit when we paid tribute in our local parliament last week Friday.

“We spoke about the fact (that) she went to so many places. How she enjoyed the local culture. And how she fondly remembered her time there.

“And I remember the time when I did have the opportunity to meet Her Majesty in 2019 at Buckingham Palace.
“There’s a royal box in the City of Hamilton Theatre and in there is a note from Her Royal Majesty, which is written from her first trip to Bermuda in 1953.


My children saw it and I was able to pass on and say, ‘You know, my children did see it and told me, when I went to Buckingham Palace, to say ‘Hi’ for us’.”
With the passing of the Queen, Mr Burt was asked how he hoped he would get on with King Charles.

“I think what King Charles has said is that he will continue the view of his mother to remain out of politics,” said Mr Burt. “But, I think what is vital and important is that King Charles has spoke about, as a very important issue to small island states. And that is of the environment and climate change.

“Bermuda is a world leader when it comes to being able to protect our interests and advance matters of climate change, so I think with his leadership of the Commonwealth that will be something that is front an centre and that is something that I think certainly mixes with where Bermuda wants to position itself as a country.”

The Premier shared how there was great interest among Bermudians surrounding all the pomp and ceremony associated with the Queen’s funeral and how many locals had kept in close touch with all the goings on.

“I did hear from many persons and many persons have been sending videos and Whats App messages from it, so I think that there were a lot of persons in Bermuda that were watching the ceremony that took place,” he said.

“Because people do recognise that you must honour a persons commitment to service.

“No matter what’s your individual political views are, the position of the monarchy of the United Kingdom is one of apolitical, as a Head of State that is totally apolitical and is someone who gives her life to service.

“So, there was a significant number of persons who were watching, and I even ran into a number of Bermudians who were here, while we were getting ready to get in the cars to get to the places for the process that we just mentioned, and they were just in town and they were excited to take it in, just as many others.”
Finally, as for the Queen’s legacy for Bermuda and its inhabitants, the Premier said: “I think the Queen’s legacy will be one of service to the world and to the Commonwealth.

“From that perspective, in the exact same way as in the United Kngdom it remains an apolitical monarchy, but I think that people reflect on her life and service.
“I mean, things are going to change. Just in Bermuda the Queen is on all of our currency. The Queen  I heard during tributes in Parliament  at the end of the night our local television shows images of the Queen every evening. So those things will certainly change. But I think that the affection for Queen Elizabeth, the visits which she had to Bermuda, the memories, which persons in those particular times will certainly have, will remain (unhindered).

“And I think that people just want to pay tribute to someone who did serve with dignity and grace for 70 years.”

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