Barbados will swear Sandra Mason, Governor General of Barbados, as its first President at midnight Monday. Following nearly 400 years, the British monarch will be removed from the Caribbean island’s head of government.
Last month, the Barbadian Parliament voted to replace Queen Elizabeth II by Mason. This allowed the country to move on from its past as the oldest colony under the British Empire.
It has had the monarch as its head of government for over 400 years, although the country gained its independence in 1966. Mason declared Barbados to be a republic when he launched the 2020 campaign. “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.”
“Having attained independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance. The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,”Mason stated to NBC News that he was standing by the campaign in September.
The Prince of Wales, who is the Queen’s heir, has arrived on the island for the swearing-in ceremony in the capital Bridgetown’s National Heroes Square. The Queen will officially cede her position at midnight, November 30 marking the 55th anniversary of Barbados’ independence, upon which Prince Charles will formally welcome in the new era.
Despite the island’s decision to dismiss the Queen, the Prince of Wales has expressed the hope that the UK and Barbados would maintain strong relations, emphasizing the “myriad connections”They are located in the same country.
Barbados, Dominica and Guyana are the latest Caribbean countries to be made a republic. Although Jamaica hasn’t officially moved to appoint an president, Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that the country is determined to replace Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.