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Barbados to remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state

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Barbados to remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state


Barbados revealed intentions to dethrone Queen Elizabeth II as head of state next year, the first time a Commonwealth nation has done so in over 30 years.

“The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” the administration of the Caribbean island country said.

She said that the nation would become a republic as soon as November of next year, when it will mark its 55th anniversary of independence from the British empire.

Barbados would be the first nation to do so since Mauritius did so almost three decades ago, in 1992. Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of the Commonwealth, a group of 16 nations that comprises the United Kingdom and former British territories. In 1966, Barbados declared independence from British control.

During Prince Harry’s diamond jubilee visit in 2012, Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller reaffirmed the country’s prior plans to become a republic.

“No race should have been subjected to what our ancestors were subjected to,” she told the BBC. “We gained our freedom through the sweat, blood and tears of our ancestors and we are now free. If Britain wishes to apologize, fine with us, no problem at all.”


Buckingham Palace said that it was a decision for the Barbados government and people.

“Barbados and the UK are united in our shared history, culture, language, and much more. We have an enduring partnership and will continue to work with them along with all our valued Caribbean partners,” a statement said.

However, Barbados’ decision to expedite a process that had previously been presented as a subject for a public vote may herald a new wave of countries contemplating a drive toward complete self-governance, especially as the historic role of the British empire is being questioned.

According to a source at Buckingham Palace, the proposal “was not out of the blue” and “has been mooted and publicly talked about many times,” according to BBC royal reporter Jonny Dymond.

Barbados is still a member of the Commonwealth, a union of 54 nations, the majority of which were former British colonies.

Barbados would not be the Caribbean’s first former British colony to become a republic. Guyana made the decision in 1970, only four years after obtaining independence from Britain. Trinidad and Tobago followed in 1976, and Dominica followed in 1978.

In Barbados, Queen Elizabeth’s role is ceremonial and symbolic. While her title includes Queen of Barbados, she is not engaged in the country’s day-to-day operations. Queen Elizabeth chooses a governor general on the recommendation of Barbadian ministers, who represents the queen at formal occasions and with whom she maintains frequent communication.

Earlier this year, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex urged the United Kingdom to confront its colonial history, emphasizing the “wrongs” of its historical participation in the nations that currently comprise the bloc.

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