In 1666 England took over the islands. The first lieutenant governor was appointed in 1701, but the British Virgin Islands were usually governed as part of other groups of islands in the Caribbean until 1960 when last legal links with the Leeward Islands were abolished.
A new constitution was given in 2007. It grants more control over everyday life to the Islanders, and lists the protection a person can expect from the government. The Chief Minister will become the Prime Minister, and the Legislative Council will be called the House of Assembly.