January 17, 2022

SHSU Houstonian Online

Read all latest news headlines from USA, UK and around the world, get today's breaking news and live updates on politics, elections, business, sports, economy,​ …

Barbados bids farewell to the Queen of Britain and becomes a republic

Barbados bids farewell to the Queen of Britain and becomes a republic

It’s time to leave our colonial past behind. So said former Governor-General Sandra Mason, who was sworn in at midnight local time as Barbados’ first-ever president. The small island with a population of just under 300,000 gained its independence from Great Britain in 1966, but continued to fall under the kingdom.

British Empire

The island nation was once part of the British Empire, the largest empire of all time. At its peak around 1921, it covered more than a quarter of the Earth’s surface. Several of those countries gained independence in the 20th century, including Barbados.

“It was important for Barbados to leave the past of slavery in order to have good and decisive relations with its former colonizer,” Britain’s correspondent Anne Senen said. “Barbados suffered greatly from past slavery. The population consists largely of descendants of African slaves.”

Senen says they were put to work under harsh conditions on British sugar plantations. “As colonists, they have made a lot of money from this. That past has left a huge mark in the history of Barbados. That is why it is so symbolically important to sever the last imperial ties with Great Britain.”

good relation

However, Barbados does not want to completely reject the British past and maintain good relations with Britain. So the country wants to remain a member of the Commonwealth, a voluntary alliance of 53 independent sovereign nations, with the British Queen as the symbolic head.

Visit Charles

The current visit of Crown Prince Charles to the island proves that relations between Barbados and Great Britain remain good. He attended the presidential swearing-in of 72-year-old Sandra Mason. On Sunday evening, he arrived in the capital, Bridgetown, where he was received by a guard of honor.

Elizabeth is still head of state in 16 countries

Barbados is only the fourth country in the Caribbean to deposit the British monarchy. Previously, Guyana, the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, and Dominica did so. Mauritius, an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean, relinquished the British royal family in 1992.

Queen Elizabeth still holds the presidency of sixteen sovereign nations, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and a string of former British colonies in the Caribbean, including Jamaica.