Advertisment

Barbados cuts ties with Queen Elizabeth II, becomes world’s newest republic

…Honours world famous R&B Queen, Rihana

Advertisment

Barbados has become a republic, replacing the British monarch as its head of state and severing its last remaining colonial bonds nearly 400 years after the first English ships arrived at the Caribbean island.

The new republic was born to the cheers of hundreds of people lining Chamberlain Bridge in the capital, Bridgetown, at the stroke of midnight. A 21-gun salute fired as the national anthem of Barbados was played over a crowded Heroes Square.

Advertisment

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, stood somberly as the royal standard was lowered and the new Barbados declared, a step republicans hope will spur discussion of similar proposals in other former British colonies where Queen Elizabeth II remains their sovereign.

RecommendedReads

After a dazzling display of Barbadian dance and music, complete with speeches celebrating the end of colonialism, Sandra Mason was sworn in as Barbados’s first president in the shadow of Barbados’s parliament.

Advertisment

Mason was elected last month by a joint session of the country’s House of Assembly and Senate

“Full stop this colonial page,” Winston Farrell, a Barbadian poet told the ceremony. “Some have grown up stupid under the Union Jack, lost in the castle of their skin.”

Advertisment

“It is about us, rising out of the cane fields, reclaiming our history,” he said. “End all that she mean, put a Bajan there instead.”

Supporters of the transition say removing the British queen as Barbados’s head of state sends a powerful message.

Advertisment

“Tonight’s the night!” read the front-page headline of Barbados’ Daily Nation newspaper.

Meanwhile, the new republic has declared Rihanna a national hero.

Advertisment

Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that the 33-year-old Barbadian musician and entrepreneur would be conferred with the honour of National Hero of Barbados to cheers during a ceremony held overnight on Monday in the capital, Bridgetown, to mark the political transition.

Rihanna, a billionaire according to Forbes, was called up before the crowds to be congratulated by Mottley, the leader of Barbados’s republican movement.

Advertisment

“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions,” Mottley told Rihanna, a reference to her 2012 chart-topping single “Diamonds”.

Mottley said the artist had commanded “the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence with her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth”.

Advertisment

Barbados will remain a republic within the Commonwealth, a grouping of 54 countries across Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe.

But its withdrawal from the monarchy will bring the number of Commonwealth realms – countries that continue to have the queen as their head of state – to 15, including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Advertisment

The last country to renounce the Crown was the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in 1992.

Advertisment
Advertisment

Related Contents

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Add New Playlist

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.