Barbados becomes a republic, replaces British Queen as head of state

DM | Published: 10:23 AM Nov 30 2021
World Barbados becomes a republic, replaces British Queen as head of state

Barbados has become a republic, 55 years after gaining independence from the UK.

In a message to the people of the Caribbean island, the Queen sent her "good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future" and emphasised the importance of the "continuation of the friendship" with the UK as she ceased to be their monarch.

At midnight local time the country will became a republic, ending almost 400 years of the British royal family being head of state to the island known by some as "Little England". 

Writing to the new President, Dame Sandra Mason, the Queen said "On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first President of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians.

"I first visited your beautiful country on the eve of independence in early 1966, and I am very pleased that my son is with you today. Since then, the people of Barbados have held a special place in my heart; it is a country rightfully proud of its vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty, that attracts visitors from all over the world, including many people from the United Kingdom."

Stressing the continuing ties between the two countries, the Queen added "Over the years, our countries have enjoyed a partnership based on common values, shared prosperity, and close collaboration on a wide range of issues, including recent work on climate change. It is also a source of great satisfaction that Barbados remains an active participant within the Commonwealth, and I look forward to the continuation of the friendship between our two countries and peoples." 

Prince Charles attended the transition ceremony at National Heroes Square in Bridgetown, where just after midnight the Queen's standard was lowered for the final time and the President installed as the new head of state.


DM | Published: 10:23 AM Nov 30 2021

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