World Barbados says goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II, transforms into a republic
How the Commonwealth arose from a crumbling British Empire
Barbados will soon remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state—but remain part of this organization that’s headed by the British monarch. Here’s what it all means.In the 55 years since, Barbados has been among the former British territories to declare independence. While the country did part ways with Britain, it continued to pledge fealty to Queen Elizabeth II as a Commonwealth realm—one of 16 independent countries that recognize the British monarch as its head of state. For some, she’s the colonel-in-chief of their armed forces—and in all of them, she has the rarely exercised authority to sign off on their laws or diplomatic appointments.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Barbados stopped pledging allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday as it shed another vestige of its colonial past and became a republic for the first time in history.
Several leaders and dignitaries, including Prince Charles, attended the ceremony that began late Monday in a popular square where the statue of a well-known British lord was removed last year amid a worldwide push to erase symbols of oppression.
Barbados to become a republic, replacing British queen
Barbados is about to cut ties with the British monarchy, but the legacy of a sometimes brutal colonial past and the pandemic's impact on tourism pose major challenges for the Caribbean island as it becomes the world's newest republic. In October, Barbados elected Mason to become its first president, one year after Prime Minister Mia Mottley declared that the country would "fully" leave its colonial past.Famed for its beaches and love of cricket, Barbados will this week replace its head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, with her current representative, Governor General Sandra Mason.
Fireworks peppered the sky at midnight as Barbados officially became a republic, with screens set up across the island so people could watch the event that featured an orchestra with more than 100 steel pan players and numerous artists. It was also broadcast online, prompting a flurry of excited messages from Bajans living in the U.S., Canada and beyond.
“Happy Independence Day and freedom to all,” wrote one viewer.
An unwelcome symbol of colonialism:
The drive to become a republic began more than two decades ago and culminated with the island’s Parliament electing its first ever president last month in a two-thirds majority vote. Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason was scheduled to be sworn in before dawn on Tuesday as the island marked its 55th independence from Britain.
Prince Charles travels to Barbados to celebrate the creation of a republic
Prince Charles travels to Barbados to celebrate the creation of a republic BRIDGETOWN (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Charles flew to Barbados as the Caribbean nation prepared for a celebration on Monday marking the founding of a republic and the removal of the queen as sovereign, cutting imperial ties some 400 years after English ships first arrived. © Reuters/TOBY MELVILLE Prince Charles arrives in Barbados to celebr Barbados won independence from Britain in 1966 but has retained Queen Elizabeth as its official sovereign.
Mason, 72, is an attorney and judge who also has served as ambassador to Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and Brazil. She will help Prime Minister Mia Mottley lead the wealthy Caribbean island of more than 300,000 people that is dependent on tourism, manufacturing and finance.
Barbados did not need permission from the U.K. to become a republic, although the island will remain a member of the Commonwealth Realm. It’s an event that the Caribbean has not experienced since the 1970s, when Guyana, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago became republics.
Barbados became independent from the United Kingdom in November 1966, more than three centuries after English settlers arrived and turned the island into a wealthy sugar colony based on the work of hundreds of thousands of African slaves.
Barbados becomes the world's newest republic
The Caribbean nation parts ways with the Queen in a ceremony attended by Prince Charles and Rihanna.Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as president during a midnight event coinciding with the country's 55th anniversary of independence.
In recent decades, the island has begun distancing itself from its colonial past. In 2005, Barbados dropped the London-based Privy Council and chose the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court of appeal. Then in 2008, it proposed a referendum on the issue of becoming a republic, but it was pushed back indefinitely. Last year, Barbados announced plans to stop being a constitutional monarchy and removed a statue of British Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson from National Heroes Square, the location of the event to celebrate becoming a republic.
Barbados’ flag, coat of arms and national anthem will remain the same, but certain references will change, according to Suleiman Bulbulia, a columnist for the Barbados Today newspaper. He wrote that the terms “royal” and “crown” will no longer be used, so the Royal Barbados Police Force will become the Barbados Police Service and “crown lands” will become “state lands.”
Barbados says goodbye to queen, transforms into republic
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Barbados stopped pledging allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday as it shed another vestige of its colonial past and became a republic for the first time in history. Several leaders and dignitaries, including Prince Charles, attended the ceremony that began late Monday in a popular square where the statue of a well-known British lord was removed last year amid a worldwide push to erase symbols of oppression. Fireworks peppered the sky at midnight as Barbados officially became a republic, with screens set up across the island so people could watch the event that featured an orchestra with more than 100 steel pan players and numerous artists
“It is the beginning of a new era,” he wrote. “Any Barbadian can aspire now to be our Head of State.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Barbados Declares Rihanna a National Hero as It Cuts Ties With Queen Elizabeth II, Becomes a Republic .
The multi-hyphenate was honored by her home country as Barbados cuts colonial-era ties to the British throne.The Fenty founder received a high honor from her home country on Monday and was named a National Hero by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a ceremony marking the country's split from the British throne to become its own republic.