Barbados becomes the newest republic

30 November 2021, 04:58 am | Updated: 30 November 2023, 12:43 am

Barbados becomes the newest republic
Rihanna was declared a national hero at the independence day event/ BBC

Barbados has officially become the world's newest republic as the country removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.

In an overnight ceremony in the capital, Bridgetown, Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as president, reported BBC.

Dame Sandra Mason, 72, the island's governor-general since 2018, was named as president-elect of the nation following a vote in parliament last month. She now replaces the Queen as the head of state.

Prince Charles and Barbadian singer Rihanna attended the event, which coincided with the country's 55th anniversary of independence.

In a speech, the prince acknowledged the "appalling atrocity of slavery" the Caribbean island suffered.

The new era for Barbados ends Britain's centuries of influence, including more than 200 years when the island was a hub for the transatlantic slave trade.

To signify the official change of power, a final salute was made to the British monarchy and the Royal Standard flag was lowered and replaced.

Speaking as the guest of honour at the event, Prince Charles reiterated the continuing ties between the two nations despite the constitutional status change.

He described the moment as a new beginning before being awarded the prestigious Order of Freedom of Barbados by the new president.

The Queen sent the country her "warmest good wishes" for "happiness, peace and prosperity in the future" and said the nation holds a "special place" in her heart.

Barbados announced its plan to become a republic last year, but it will remain within the Commonwealth.

Category : International