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Barbados Is Officially Ditching The Queen Today And Will Become A Republic

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Barbados Is Officially Ditching The Queen Today And Will Become A Republic

Barbados is officially becoming a republic today (November 30) after the country declared it wanted to end ties with the British monarchy.

On the 55th anniversary of the country's independence from Britain, a ceremony will be held to formally bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state and usher in a new era for the island nation.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley kicked off the campaign to introduce a republic and she revealed in a speech last year that the people of Barbados are ready.

"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state," she said.

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"This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving."

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley with Prince Charles. Credit: Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley with Prince Charles. Credit: Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS

Prince Charles has flown from the UK to the Caribbean for the ceremony and he touched down late last night (November 29).

He will give a speech for the inauguration of President-elect Sandra Mason, who has previously been the country's Governor-General and representative for Barbados with the Queen.

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An excerpt of his speech will see the Prince of Wales tell the crowd: "As your constitutional status changes, it was important to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change.

"For example, the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as vital members of the Commonwealth."

However, Prince Charles' inclusion in the big ceremony, as well as him receiving the Order of Freedom of Barbados, has divided some people.

Soon-to-be relics of British influence in Barbados. Credit: Alamy
Soon-to-be relics of British influence in Barbados. Credit: Alamy
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The ABC notes how there was 200 years of slavery that persisted in Barbados under British rule until it was abolished in 1834.

Kristina Hinds, international relations lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Barbados, explained how having a member of the British royal family present at a historic moment in their country is problematic.

"The British royal family is a source of exploitation in this region and, as yet, they have not offered a formal apology or any kind of repair for past harms," she said.

"So I don't see how someone from the family can be given this award. That is beyond me."

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It's the first time a country has ditched the Queen has their head of state in nearly 30 years.

While Barbados will still remain part of the Commonwealth, some commentators believe the country's move to become a republic could create a 'domino effect' and see other nations replace the monarch.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Queen elizabeth, News

Stewart Perrie
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