Sierra Leone (Commonwealth realm)

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Sierra Leone
Commonwealth realm
1961–1971
Flag Coat of arms
Motto
"Unity, Freedom, Justice"
Anthem
High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free
Location of the Commonwealth realm of Sierra Leone (red) in Western Africa.
Capital Freetown
Languages English
Krio (Creole)
Government Constitutional monarchy
Monarch
 -  1961–1971 Elizabeth II
Governor-General of Sierra Leone
 -  1961–1962 Sir Maurice Henry Dorman
 -  1962–1967 Sir Henry J. L. Boston
 -  1967–1968 Andrew Juxon Smith
 -  1968 John Amadu Bangura
 -  1968–1971 Sir Banja Tejan-Sie
Prime Minister
 -  1961–1964 Milton Margai
 -  1947–1967 Albert Margai
 -  1967 Siaka Stevens
 -  1967 David Lansana
 -  1967–1968 Andrew Juxon-Smith
Historical era Cold War
 -  Independence 27 April 1961
 -  Republic 19 April 1971
Currency BWA pound (1961–1964)
Leone (from 1964)

The Commonwealth realm of Sierra Leone, officially known as "Sierra Leone", was a predecessor to the present-day Republic of Sierra Leone. It was the African country with the longest tenure as a Commonwealth realm, existing between 27 April 1961 and 19 April 1971.

When British rule ended in 1961, the British Crown Colony of Sierra Leone was given independence as a Commonwealth realm under the Sierra Leone Independence Act 1961,[1] While a Commonwealth realm, the British monarch, Elizabeth II, remained the head of state of Sierra Leone and was represented in Sierra Leone by a Governor-General. Sierra Leone shared the Sovereign with the other Commonwealth realms. The royal succession was governed by the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The following Governors-General of Sierra Leone held office:

  1. Sir Maurice Henry Dorman (27 April 1961 – 27 April 1962)
  2. Sir Henry Josiah Lightfoot Boston (27 April 1962 – April 1967)
  3. Andrew Juxon-Smith (April 1967–18 April 1968) (acting)
  4. John Amadu Bangura (18–22 April 1968) (acting)
  5. Sir Banja Tejan-Sie (22 April 1968 – 31 March 1971)
  6. Christopher Okoro Cole (31 March–19 April 1971) (interim)

The following held office as Prime minister (and head of government) of Sierra Leone during this period:

  1. Milton Margai (27 April 1961 – 30 April 1964)
  2. Albert Margai (30 April 1964 – 17 March 1967)
  3. Siaka Stevens (first term) (17 March 1967 – 21 March 1967)
  4. David Lansana (21 March 1967 – 24 March 1967)
  5. Ambrose Patrick Genda (24 March 1967 – 27 March 1967)a
  6. Andrew Juxon Smith (27 March 1967 – 19 April 1968)a
  7. Patrick Conteh (19 April 1968 – 26 April 1968)b
  8. Siaka Stevens (second term) (26 April 1968 – 19 April 1971)

a. As Chairman of the National Reform Council.
b. As Chairman of the National Interim Council.

Elizabeth II visited Sierra Leone from November to December 1961; shortly after independence, in her capacity of Queen of Sierra Leone.

The link with the British monarchy was abolished on the promulgation of the 1971 constitution and Prime Minister Siaka Stevens became the first President of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone became a republic within the Commonwealth.

Standard of the Governor-General of Sierra Leone, 1961-1971

References[edit]