(RepublicanNews.org) – There was a time when England, and to a greater degree, the Monarchy, maintained control over dozens of countries worldwide. Over the years, many of these regions slowly cultivated independence, eventually seceding from Britain in the process. Now, nearly four centuries after British ships first landed on the island paradise, Barbados is finally joining that list.
The Queen’s Representative and Governor Sandra Mason won her nomination to become the first President of Barbados on October 21, 2021. She was officially sworn in on November 30, making her the first woman other than the Queen to rule in an official capacity.
Barbados technically gained its independence over five decades ago but chose to preserve the monarch in a ceremonial role at the time. Officials marked the recent removal of Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state by hosting yet another celebratory event in her honor.
Barbadians’ move to ditch the Queen for a president elected by MPs leaves just 14 countries, other than the UK, with the British monarch as head of state. https://t.co/dn6LPF3Sb6
— Financial Review (@FinancialReview) November 30, 2021
The occasion started with a 21-gun salute at midnight local time. The Barbadian National Anthem then played as the new republic was officially born. Music, dance and fireworks followed as Prime Minister Mia Mottley declared singer Rihanna, a Barbados native, a national hero.
Heir to the throne, Prince Charles, attended the event. Queen Elizabeth II was not present; the monarch remains on light duties in response to health concerns. Still, she sent her warmest wishes to the newly formed republic and asked her son to deliver a speech on her behalf. Prince Charles called the momentous day a new beginning for Barbados.
Despite the country’s Parliament electing Mason as the new President of Barbados, Prime Minister Mottley will continue to run the country for the moment. It remains part of the Commonwealth alongside 54 other states and former British colonies.
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