Barbados abandons the queen and becomes a republic

In the early hours of Tuesday, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of masked officials, a prince and at least one pop star, the Caribbean...


In the early hours of Tuesday, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of masked officials, a prince and at least one pop star, the Caribbean island of Barbados became a republic, severing ties with Queen Elizabeth II and throwing away the last major vestige of its colonial past.

The nation swore in its first president, Sandra Mason, a former governor general who had been appointed by the Queen. A 21-gun salute rang out to the rhythm of the national anthem. The royal red, yellow and navy flag has been lowered – exactly 55 years after the country gained independence from Britain.

“Today the debate and the speech have turned into action,” Ms Mason, 72, told spectators gathered in the capital, Bridgetown. “Today we set our compass in a new direction.”

Ms. Mason won a majority vote in Parliament in October to take on this role. In a subsequent speech, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said: “We believe that the time has come for us to claim our full destiny. It is a woman of the soil to whom this honor is returned.

The island nation, a democracy of around 300,000 people, announced in September that he would remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state, the last Caribbean island to do so. It joined Guyana, which gained independence in 1966 and became a republic in 1970; Trinidad and Tobago, which became independent in 1962 and a republic in 1976; and Dominica, which gained full independence as a republic in 1978.

Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are among the nations that still call the Queen their head of state. Barbados will remain a member of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 54 countries with roots in the British Empire.

Thousands of people in Barbados celebrated the end of nearly 400 years of British rule on Tuesday.

In the audience attending the decoupling in Bridgetown was a representative of Great Britain: Prince Charles, eldest son and heir to Elizabeth. He received the Order of the Liberty of Barbados.

In a speech, Charles delivered a message from his mother, conveying “best wishes”. He also congratulated the Barbadians and said: “From the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever sullies our history, the people of this island have forged their way with extraordinary force. . “

“Tonight you are writing the next chapter in the history of your nation”, he added. “You are the keepers of your heritage.

Global pop star Rihanna was also in the crowd. During the ceremony, the singer, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados, was declared the national heroine.

She received the honor, Prime Minister Mottley said, for dominating “the imagination of the world” with her excellence, creativity, discipline and, “above all, her extraordinary commitment to her native land”.

“May you continue to Shine like a diamond“, added Mottley.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Barbados abandons the queen and becomes a republic
Barbados abandons the queen and becomes a republic
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