The Gambia (Commonwealth realm)
"Progression, Peace, Progress"
For The Gambia Our Homeland
Location of the Gambia (dark red) in Western Africa.
|-||1965–1966||John Warburton Paul|
|-||1966–1970||Farimang Mamadi Singateh|
|Historical era||Cold War|
|-||Independence||18 February 1965|
|-||Republic||24 April 1970|
|Currency||Gambian Pound (from 1966)|
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 remained head of state of the Gambia, which shared its Sovereign with the other Commonwealth realms. The royal succession was governed by the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Monarch'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:
- John Warburton Paul (18 February 1965 – 9 February 1966)
- 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.