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Bridgetown street, capital of Barbados
The Caribbean island will no longer submit to the laws of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Pixabay.

Barbados, a new independent republic

The transition was peaceful and the ceremony was even attended by the Prince of Wales on behalf of the British Crown.

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Nov. 30 will go down in history as the date when the island of Barbados ended centuries of British influence and became an independent republic. In celebrating 55 years since its emancipation, it also went from having Queen Elizabeth II as head of state to being governed by Sandra Mason, who will now lead the country as its first president

What does this mean?
In a process that took place peacefully and with the blessing of the British crown, who sent the future king, Prince Charles, as its representative, Barbados finally cut the colonial tie it maintained with royalty despite becoming independent in 1966.
 
bandera de Barbados

For more than three centuries, Barbados' rulers made decisions on behalf of the Crown — many of which were related to the slave trade. The Prince of Wales publicly apologized for the relationship. Likewise, a change is being sought in the Constitution, which gave all executive power to the queen, ending loyalty to a foreign monarch.

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However, despite the change from Barbados to a republic, the island will continue to maintain friendly relations with the Crown and be part of the Commonwealth — the community of nations with origins in the British Empire. It's a community Barbados finds itself along with 53 other territories around the world.

What changes for Barbados?
While the queen's portraits will be removed from museum displays, other practical changes will take place on the island. For example, the governor-general will now be the president and she will not live in the Government House, but in the State House. Likewise, words such as "royal," "crown," and "majesty" will be removed from the names of the institutions and official recognitions of the new State.
 
Although this break with the Crown became official on the last day of November, Barbados had been seeking full autonomy for several years, especially since its independence. Just last year, the statue of British Admiral Horatio Nelson, who has been sitting in Bridgetown since 1813, was removed and this place was given the name of Heroes' Square.
Other countries in America that remain under the command of the British Crown
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua y Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Cayman Islands
  • Turks & Caicos
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Lucía
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

playa de Barbados

Rihanna, national hero
In addition to Sandra Mason, elected last October as president of Barbados to replace Queen Elizabeth II, another woman stole the show.
 
Its most famous citizen, extraordinary ambassador and plenipotentiary, as well as the most important promoter of tourism and education, Rihanna, was declared a "National Hero" in the same ceremony that recognized Barbados' complete autonomy.

Rihanna, was born 33 years ago in Saint Michel and grew up in Bridgetown. She received the distinction from the Prime Minister of Barbados, who highlighted her humble origins. The artist's fortune has been estimated at more than $1.7 billion.

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