Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Barbados Ditches Queen Elizabeth II and Becomes a Republic

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More than 55 years after Independence, Barbados is shedding its colonial past to become a republic.

The occasion was marked on Monday after midnight with fireworks, steel bands and the 21 gun salute where Prince Charles who was in attendance, wished the island-nation well and said Queen Elizabeth II sent the country her “warmest good wishes.”

“From the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery which forever stains our history, people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude,” Prince Charles said.

Barbados will no longer pledge allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II.

The country will do away with the role of the Governor General who represented the Queen. Instead, the country swore in its first president, Sandra Mason.

Terms like “royal” and “crown” will no longer be used. The Royal Barbados Police Force will become the Barbados Police Service and “crown lands” will become “state lands.”

Some customs will remain the same. The country will remain a member of the Commonwealth. Its flag, coat of arms and national anthem will also remain the same.

The big story

Last year November, the country began talks about its relation with the monarchy, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA. Subsequently, the country removed a bronze statue of British Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who was considered a defender of the island’s slave trade, from its main square in Bridgetown.

Barbados joins Trinidad and Tobago in relinquishing its colonial past and becoming a republic.

The Queen remains the head of state of the Bahamas and many Caribbean nations.

Photo credit: Loop News

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