Although Jamaica gained its independence in 1962, it still remained a member of the British Commonwealth headed by the reigning monarch in England who was and still is Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II. Throughout these 50 years successive Jamaican governments decided to remain subservient to the Queen, and her representatives in Jamaica, who are designated as Governor Generals, the heads of state in Jamaica.
Both the Queen and the Governor-General hold much power, but this is rarely used, reserved usually for emergencies and, in some cases, war. The Governor-General represents the Queen on ceremonial occasions such as the opening of Parliament, the presentation of honors and military parades, and the swearing in of prime ministers, ministers of government, and members of the senate and members. Under the terms of the Jamaican Constitution, the Governor General is authorized to act in some matters, for example in appointing and disciplining officers of the civil service, in proroguing Parliament, and accepting the resignation of a prime minister.
The Queen, on the advice of the Jamaican Prime Minister, appoints a Governor-General to be her representative in Jamaica.
Eight men has served as Jamaica’s Governor General (two in an acting capacity) since 1962: these are: