Queen removed as head of state when Barbados becomes republic

In the last weekend of the Queen’s reign on the island, Bajans acknowledges that it’s time to move on and reflect on the past, explains ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship

At midnight Monday d. Barbados transitioned from an empire to a republic when the Caribbean island replaced Queen with a president.

Prince Charles was invited to observe the handover and speak to the crowds at the official ceremony, but he did so during calls from some to the British Royal The family must apologize for the role of its ancestors in the slave trade.

Barbados was considered the “jewel in the crown” by Britain’s colonies, and the plantations, bred by slaves from West Africa, contributed to Britain’s wealth.

Barbados has had a connection with British kings and queens for centuries.

Ever since English ships arrived on these shores in 1625 and claimed the island from King James I, a British monarch has been monitoring life on this island.

Even when Barbados celebrated its independence from Britain when it ceased to be a colony on November 30, 1966, it still held the Queen by its head of state.

It ends on November 30, 2021, on the 55th anniversary of independence – a day when the Bajans will wake up in a republic.

“I think she’s cute [the Queen] but I do not like to be under anyone’s control, I like to be under control of myself, “says schoolgirl Jenique Anderson

The current Governor-General, Dame Sandra Mason, who has been the Queen’s representative here, will be sworn in as the first president ever at midnight local time.

The Royal Standard will be lowered and the Presidential Standard will fly from the flagpole instead.

The Prince of Wales has been invited here by Prime Minister Mia Mottley – she is keen to ensure that this change in constitutional status is not interpreted as a revelation by the 95-year-old monarch.

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Prince Charles will tonight tell the crowds at National Heroes Square in Bridgetown that “the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and Britain” will not change and the two countries will maintain a “common determination to defend the values ​​we both cherish. about”.

Barbados will remain in Commonwealth but the number of kingdoms will drop from 16 today, including Britain, Canada, Australia, Jamaica and the Bahamas, to 15 on Tuesday.

But there are some organizations in Barbados that say the royal family should have no part in the memorial service, and they are protesting against Prince Charles being awarded the country’s highest honor, the Barbados Order of Liberty.

Dame Sandra Mason will be the country’s first president ever. Credit: ON

The Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration argues that the royal family should both apologize for any role it played in the years of slavery and pay money to Barbados in the form of compensation.

Last year worldwide Black lives matter movement triggered the removal of a statue of Admiral Lord Nelson in Barbados, which was erected by the British in 1813 to celebrate the victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

But as a supporter of the slave trade before his death, it was decided that the bronze statue of Nelson had no place on the main square of Bridgetown.

An empty plinth stands there now, with a banner wrapped around its base in the national colors of blue and gold.

Prince Charles during a stroll with Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley in Bridgetown during his Caribbean tour. Credit: ON

Many Bajanes I have spoken to do not care about the constitutional amendment and are simply looking forward to the national holiday, which is held on 30 November each year.

Others say it’s time to move on and end the independence that began more than half a century ago.

Either way, this eastern Caribbean country is severing ties with the British Crown, which dates back to the 17th century, and it could trigger similar movements in some of the other countries where the Queen remains head of state.

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