Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are expected to visit a number of Caribbean states

Dominica has been excluded from the list of Caribbean states that will be hosting a member of Britain’s Royal Family next year as the Commonwealth celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will visit the Caribbean in 2012 as part of a global tour celebrating 60 years of the Queen on the throne.

Buckingham Palace has announced that they will visit the Queen’s 15 realms and other destinations with close links to the United Kingdom next year. However they will not be calling on Dominica.

The pair of royals will visit Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. Meanwhile Prince Harry will visit Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas.

It is understood that the reason for Dominica’s exclusion is because the Commonwealth of Dominica is a republic with its own head of state. Queen Elizabeth II is not the head of state of Dominica but she is the head of state of all the other member states of the OECS and Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, Barbados and the British Overseas Territories.

Although a visit is being made to Trinidad and Tobago, that twin island republic became independent as part of the monarchical system. Dominica was the only Commonwealth Caribbean state to go directly into independence as a republic.

The Diamond Jubilee marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI on February 6, 1952.