The British House of Lords voted to give The Bahamas its independence on 22 June 1973. Prince Charles delivered the official documents to Prime Minister Lynden Pindling, officially declaring The Bahamas a fully independent nation on 10 July 1973, and this date is now celebrated as the country's Independence Day. It joined the Commonwealth of Nations on the same day. Sir Milo Butler was appointed the first governor-general of The Bahamas (the official representative of Queen Elizabeth II) shortly after independence.
Purnell recognised that during the 2008 mayoral election he was "polarising opinions to the extreme", with critics viewing him as "variously evil, a clown, a racist and a bigot". Writing in The Guardian, journalist Polly Toynbee referred to him as a "jester, toff, self-absorbed sociopath and serial liar", while Labour politician Hazel Blears called him "a nasty right-wing elitist, with odious views and criminal friends". He has also been accused of sexism, after referring to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as "a big girl's blouse" and former prime minister David Cameron as a "girly swot". Cameron has said of Johnson: "The thing about the greased piglet is that he manages to slip through other people's hands where mere mortals fail." In 2019, The Irish Times described him as "a deeply polarising figure, cherished by many older Conservatives but viewed by others as a serial liar and an amoral opportunist who sold Brexit to the British people on the basis of false promises."More Info
Johnson's paternal great-grandfather was Circassian-Turkish journalist Ali Kemal who was a secular Muslim. Johnson's paternal grandfather, Wilfred Johnson – Ali Kemal's son, was an RAF pilot in Coastal Command during World War II. His father's other ancestry includes English, German and French; one of his German ancestors was said to be the illegitimate daughter of Prince Paul of Württemberg and thus a descendant of King George II of Great Britain. This would make him and Elizabeth II sixth cousins twice removed. Through Mary of Teck's connection to Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg, they would in that case also have a closer genealogical link as fifth cousins twice removed. Johnson's mother is the granddaughter of Elias Avery Lowe, a palaeographer, who was a Russian Jewish immigrant to the US, and Pennsylvania-born Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter, a translator of Thomas Mann. In reference to his varied ancestry, Johnson has described himself as a "one-man melting pot" – with a combination of Abrahamic religious great-grandparents. Johnson was given the middle name "Boris" after a Russian émigré his parents had once met. An episode of Who Do You Think You Are? explored the German origins of his middle name Pfeffel. Through this family line, Boris Johnson is a descendant in the seventh generation of Anna Catharina Bischoff, whose mummified corpse was found in 1975 and identified in 2018.More Info
In August 1940, the Duke of Windsor was appointed Governor of The Bahamas. He arrived in the colony with his wife. Although disheartened at the condition of Government House, they "tried to make the best of a bad situation". He did not enjoy the position, and referred to the islands as "a third-class British colony". He opened the small local parliament on 29 October 1940. The couple visited the "Out Islands" that November, on Axel Wenner-Gren's yacht, which caused controversy; the British Foreign Office strenuously objected because they had been advised by United States intelligence that Wenner-Gren was a close friend of the Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring of Nazi Germany.More Info
In the 1820s during the period of the Seminole Wars in Florida, hundreds of North American slaves and African Seminoles escaped from Cape Florida to The Bahamas. They settled mostly on northwest Andros Island, where they developed the village of Red Bays. From eyewitness accounts, 300 escaped in a mass flight in 1823, aided by Bahamians in 27 sloops, with others using canoes for the journey. This was commemorated in 2004 by a large sign at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Some of their descendants in Red Bays continue African Seminole traditions in basket making and grave marking.More Info
Johnson has been described as a divisive and controversial figure in British politics. Sonia Purnell described Johnson as "the most unconventional, yet compelling politician of the post-Blair era". She added that he was "beloved by millions and recognised by all". Giles Edwards and Jonathan Isaby commented that Johnson appealed to "a broad cross-section of the public", with his friends characterising him as a "Heineken Tory" who can appeal to voters that other Conservatives cannot (a reference to the beer advertisement). Gimson expressed the view that "people love him because he makes them laugh", noting that he had become "the darling of the Tory rank and file".More Info
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