Barbados deposed Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as head of state on Tuesday, establishing a new republic with the first president and eliminating the Caribbean island’s last remaining colonial ties nearly 400 years after the first British ships entered.
Hundreds of people lined Chamberlain Bridge in Bridgetown to witness the birth of the new republic at the end of the night. The national anthem of Barbados was played over a crowded Heroes Square with a 21-gun salute fire.
The successor to the British throne, Prince Charles, stood solemnly as Queen Elizabeth’s royal standard was dropped and the new Barbados was announced, a move that republicans hoped would spark debate on similar plans in other former British colonies where the Queen is the monarch.
President Sandra Mason, the island’s first president, remarked, “We the people must give Republic Barbados its spirit and substance.” “Its future must be shaped by us.” We are each other’s and our country’s guardians.
Barbados sees the abdication of Elizabeth II, who is still Queen of 15 other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Jamaica, as an opportunity to finally rid itself of the evils of its colonial past.
“The establishment of this country marks the start of a new era,” said Prince Charles, whose mother extended her best wishes. “People of this island have built their path with incredible courage from the darkest days of our past and the horrific tragedy of slavery, which eternally stains our history.”
Prime Minister Mia Mottley called Barbadian artist Rihanna a national hero after a brilliant show of Barbadian dancing and song, complete with speeches honouring the end of colonialism.
Source: Global News