|Governor of Southern Rhodesia|
Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1952–1970)
|Style||His Excellency The Right Honourable|
|Appointer||King/Queen of the United Kingdom|
|Formation||1 October 1923|
|First holder||The Rt Hon. John Chancellor|
|Final holder||The Lord Soames|
|Abolished||18 April 1980|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The Governor of Southern Rhodesia was the representative of the British monarch in the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia from 1923 to 1980. The Governor was appointed by The Crown and acted as the local head of state, receiving instructions from the British Government.
The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952.
The Colony of Southern Rhodesia was a self-governing British Crown colony in southern Africa. It was the predecessor state of what is now Zimbabwe.
The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their sub-divisions. Legally ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context. It is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capacity, as Head of the Commonwealth, or as the king or queen of his or her realms. It can also refer to the rule of law; however, in common parlance 'The Crown' refers to the functions of government and the civil service.
The Governor was also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and as such, in theory at least, exercised considerable influence over the running of the colony and its government, but in practice, the Governor's main function was to maintain a satisfactory relationship between the British and Southern Rhodesian Governments and acted in an advisory capacity most of the time. From 1951, however, in contrast to other colonies, the British government was represented in Southern Rhodesia by a High Commissioner in Salisbury.
Harare is the capital and most populous city of Zimbabwe. The city proper has an area of 960.6 km2 (371 mi2) and an estimated population of 1,606,000 in 2009, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area in 2006. Situated in north-eastern Zimbabwe in the country's Mashonaland region, Harare is a metropolitan province, which also incorporates the municipalities of Chitungwiza and Epworth. The city sits on a plateau at an elevation of 1,483 metres above sea level and its climate falls into the subtropical highland category.
When Southern Rhodesia was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the position of the Governor remained unchanged, but as Salisbury became the capital of the Federation, the Governor General resided at Government House, previously the Governor's official residence.During this time, the Governor of Southern Rhodesia resided at Governor's Lodge in the suburb of Highlands.
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was a federal semi-Dominion that consisted of three southern African territories—the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland—between 1953 and 1963.
The following is a list of the men who served as Governor-General of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The Federation was formed on 1 August 1953 from the former colonies of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and was formally dissolved on 31 December 1963.
Following the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965, the government of Ian Smith ceased to recognise the authority of the then Governor, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, and appointed Clifford Dupont to exercise the Governor's powers as Officer Administering the Government.
The Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) was a statement adopted by the Cabinet of Rhodesia on 11 November 1965, announcing that Rhodesia, a British territory in southern Africa that had governed itself since 1923, now regarded itself as an independent sovereign state. The culmination of a protracted dispute between the British and Rhodesian governments regarding the terms under which the latter could become fully independent, it was the first unilateral break from the United Kingdom by one of its colonies since the United States Declaration of Independence nearly two centuries before. The UK, the Commonwealth and the United Nations all deemed Rhodesia's UDI illegal, and economic sanctions, the first in the UN's history, were imposed on the breakaway colony. Amid near-complete international isolation, Rhodesia continued as an unrecognised state with the assistance of South Africa and Portugal.
Ian Douglas Smith was a politician, farmer, and fighter pilot who served as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. As the country's first premier that was not born abroad, he led the predominantly white government that unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1965, following prolonged dispute over the terms. He remained Prime Minister for almost all of the fourteen years of international isolation that followed, and oversaw Rhodesia's security forces during most of the Bush War, which pitted the unrecognised administration against communist-backed black nationalist guerrilla groups. Smith, who has been described as personifying white Rhodesia, remains a highly controversial figure—supporters venerate him as a man of integrity and vision "who understood the uncomfortable truths of Africa", while critics describe an unrepentant racist whose policies and actions caused the deaths of thousands and contributed to Zimbabwe's later crises.
Clifford Walter Dupont, GCLM, ID was a Rhodesian politician who served in the internationally unrecognised positions of Officer Administrating the Government and President. Born in London and qualifying as a solicitor, Dupont served during the Second World War as an officer of the British Royal Artillery in North Africa before first visiting Southern Rhodesia in 1947. He returned a year later, started a ranch and emigrated full-time during the early 1950s, by which time the country had become a territory of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
However, Gibbs continued to occupy Government House, asserting his position as the Queen's de jure representative, and did not resign from the post until June 1969, following the decision of white voters in a referendum to approve a new constitution declaring Rhodesia, as Southern Rhodesia had become more commonly known, a republic.
In 1977, Field Marshal The Lord Carver was designated Resident Commissioner for Rhodesia, but he resigned fourteen months later.
Field Marshal has been the highest rank in the British Army since 1736. A five-star rank with NATO code OF-10, it is equivalent to an Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy or a Marshal of the Royal Air Force in the Royal Air Force (RAF). A Field Marshal's insignia consists of two crossed batons surrounded by yellow leaves below St Edward's Crown. Like Marshals of the RAF and Admirals of the Fleet, Field Marshals traditionally remain officers for life, though on half-pay when not in an appointment. The rank has been used sporadically throughout its history and was vacant during parts of the 18th and 19th centuries. After the Second World War, it became standard practice to appoint the Chief of the Imperial General Staff to the rank on his last day in the post. Army officers occupying the post of Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of all the British Armed Forces, were usually promoted to the rank upon their appointment.
Field Marshal Richard Michael Power Carver, Baron Carver, was a senior British Army officer. Lord Carver served as the Chief of the General Staff (CGS), the professional head of the British Army, and then as the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), the professional head of the British Armed Forces. He served during the Second World War and organised the administration of British forces deployed in response to the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya and later in his career provided advice to the British government on the response to the early stages of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The office of Governor remained vacant until 11 December 1979, when The Lord Soames assumed the post, following the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, under which Southern Rhodesia would achieve de jure independence as Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980.
In common with most other British colonies, the flag used by the Governor, as the Sovereign's representative in Southern Rhodesia was initially a Union Flag with a white roundel in the centre, charged with the shield from the colony's arms granted on 11 August 1924. Unique among the flags of the Governors of British Colonies, this shield of Arms was not surrounded by the customary wreath. This flag was adopted on 1 October 1924 and was flown until 30 July 1951.
On 31 July 1951, a new flag was put into use for the Governor of Southern Rhodesia. This was dark blue and charged in the centre with a Royal Crown, its height being four-sevenths of the hoist. Initially the Tudor Crown would have been used, but after her accession to the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II indicated her preference for St Edward's Crown and this version would have been used thereafter. Although the colony had attained 'Responsible Government' in 1923, it was never a fully fledged Dominion, and so did not have a Governor-General, whose flag in other Dominions would be dark blue, charged in the centre with the Royal Crest above a Crown, with the name of the Dominion written in a yellow scroll below.
|Took office||Left office||Portrait||Name|
|1 October 1923||15 June 1928||Sir John Chancellor |
|15 June 1928||24 November 1928||Sir Murray Bisset |
|24 November 1928||1 May 1934||Sir Cecil Hunter-Rodwell |
|1 May 1934||8 January 1935||Sir Fraser Russell |
|Acting; 1st Time|
|8 January 1935||8 January 1942||Sir Herbert Stanley |
|8 January 1942||10 December 1942||Sir Fraser Russell |
|Acting; 2nd Time|
|10 December 1942||26 October 1944||Sir Evelyn Baring |
|26 October 1944||20 February 1945||Sir Robert James Hudson |
|Acting; 1st Time|
|20 February 1945||2 February 1946||Sir Campbell Tait |
|2 February 1946||19 July 1946||Sir Fraser Russell |
|Acting; 3rd Time|
|19 July 1946||14 January 1947||Sir Robert James Hudson |
|Acting; 2nd Time|
|14 January 1947||21 November 1953||Sir John Noble Kennedy |
|21 November 1953||26 November 1954||Sir Robert Clarkson Tredgold |
|26 November 1954||28 December 1959||Sir Peveril William-Powlett |
|28 December 1959||24 June 1969||Sir Humphrey Gibbs |
|After the UDI on 11 November 1965, position not recognized by the Rhodesian government|
|24 June 1969||11 December 1979||Position vacant||On 1 September 1977, Field Marshal The Lord Carver was named as Resident Commissioner-designate|
|11 December 1979||18 April 1980|| The Lord Soames |
For continuation after independence, see: President of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Rhodesia was an unrecognised state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 12 December 1979. Zimbabwe Rhodesia was preceded by an unrecognised republic named Rhodesia and was briefly followed by the re-established British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which according to British constitutional theory had remained the proper government after Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965. About three months later, the re-established colony of Southern Rhodesia was granted internationally recognised independence as the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The Prime Minister of Rhodesia was the head of government in Rhodesia. Rhodesia, which became a self-governing colony of Britain in 1923, unilaterally declared independence on 11 November 1965, and was thereafter an unrecognized state in practice until 1979. In December 1979, the country came under temporary British control, and in April 1980 the country gained recognized independence as Zimbabwe.
Sir Roland "Roy" Welensky, KCMG was a Northern Rhodesian politician and the second and last prime minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
Sir Humphrey Vicary Gibbs, was the penultimate Governor of the colony of Southern Rhodesia (1959–1969) who served through, and opposed, the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965.
Winston Joseph Field CMG, MBE was a Rhodesian politician who served as the seventh Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia. Field was a former Dominion Party MP who founded the Rhodesian Front political party with Ian Douglas Smith.
The flag of Rhodesia changed many times as a result of political changes in the country.
The colonial history of Southern Rhodesia is considered to be a time period from the British government's establishment of the government of Southern Rhodesia on 1 October 1923, to Prime Minister Ian Smith's unilateral declaration of independence in 1965. The territory of 'Southern Rhodesia' was originally referred to as 'South Zambezia' but the name 'Rhodesia' came into use in 1895. The designation 'Southern' was adopted in 1901 and dropped from normal usage in 1964 on the break-up of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and Rhodesia became the name of the country until the creation of Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979. Legally, from the British perspective, the name Southern Rhodesia continued to be used until 18 April 1980, when the name Republic of Zimbabwe was formally proclaimed.
A double referendum was held in Rhodesia on 20 June 1969, in which voters were asked whether they were in favour of or against a) the adoption of a republican form of government and b) the proposals for a new Constitution, as set out in a White paper and published in a Gazette Extraordinary on 21 May 1969. Both proposals were approved. The country was subsequently declared a republic on 2 March 1970.
Iain Peter Butchart, a cricketer, was born in Bulawayo on 9 May 1960. Broadcasting of television started in November. The Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) was formed in 1961 with Joshua Nkomo as leader. The Rhodesian Front won the general elections of 1962 on 14 December. Winston Field then became the Prime Minister of Rhodesia. The Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) was formed in 1963 with Robert Mugabe as Secretary. The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was dissolved on 31 December 1963 as Zambia and Malawi moved towards independence. The government placed Joshua Nkomo, leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union, under restriction on 16 April 1964. Northern Rhodesia gained its independence and Southern Rhodesia became the colony of Rhodesia on 24 October.
Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth of Nations have had a controversial and stormy diplomatic relationship. Zimbabwe is a former member of the Commonwealth, having withdrawn in 2003, and the issue of Zimbabwe has repeatedly taken centre stage in the Commonwealth, both since Zimbabwe's independence and as part of the British Empire.
Southern Rhodesia first participated as Rhodesia in the Olympic Games in 1928, when it sent two boxers to Amsterdam, both of whom were eliminated in their second bout. The dominion did not appear at the Games under a Rhodesian banner until 1960, when it sent a fourteen-athlete delegation as part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. In Rome, two sailors, Alan David Butler and Christopher Bevan, finished fourth, which was Rhodesia's best result until it became Zimbabwe in 1980. Southern Rhodesia sent 29 competitors, including a field hockey team, to the 1964 Summer Games, which was its last Olympic appearance under the Rhodesian banner.
The President of Rhodesia was the head of state of Rhodesia from 1970 to 1979. As Rhodesia reckoned itself as a parliamentary republic rather than a presidential republic at the time, the president's post was almost entirely ceremonial, and the real power continued to be vested in Rhodesia's Prime Minister, Ian Smith. Two individuals held the office of president, while two others served as acting presidents. All were white people of British descent. As with Rhodesia itself, the position lacked international recognition for the entire period.
The constitutional history of Zimbabwe starts with the arrival of white people to what was dubbed Southern Rhodesia in the 1890s. The country was initially run by an administrator appointed by the British South Africa Company. The prime ministerial role was first created in October 1923, when the country achieved responsible government, with Sir Charles Coghlan as its first Premier. The third Premier, George Mitchell, renamed the post Prime Minister in 1933.
The flag of Southern Rhodesia was a blue ensign, later changed to a sky-blue ensign, with the coat of arms of Southern Rhodesia on it. The flag was in use in Southern Rhodesia from 1923 to 1953 and from 1964 to 1965. It was also used by the unrecognised Rhodesia from 1965 to 1968. The flag was initially used unofficially internally before being approved for use outside of the colony by the Colonial Office in 1937. The colour was changed to sky blue in 1964 to protest the treatment of Southern Rhodesia after its inclusion in the failed Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
The Bledisloe Commission, also known as the Rhodesia-Nyasaland Royal Commission, was a Royal Commission appointed in 1937–39 to examine the possible closer union of the three British territories in Central Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. These territories were to some degree economically inter-dependent, and it was suggested that an association would promote their rapid development. Its chairman was Lord Bledisloe.
Sir Thomas Hugh William Beadle was a Rhodesian lawyer, politician and judge who served as his country's Chief Justice from 1961 to 1977. He came to international prominence against the backdrop of Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Britain in 1965, upon which he initially stood by the British Governor Sir Humphrey Gibbs as an adviser; he then provoked acrimony in British government circles by declaring Ian Smith's post-UDI administration legal in 1968.