Barbados is set to remove Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and become a republic by November next year. This will make it the first country to drop the monarch in nearly three decades.
It was revealed in a written address by the country’s Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, who said it was “time to fully leave our colonial past behind” quoting the Caribbean island nation’s first premier, Errol Barrow, who warned against “loitering on colonial premises”.
Reading the speech, the Governor-general of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason, said: “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.
“This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.
“Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th anniversary of independence.”
The country gained its independence from Britain in 1966, but the Queen remains its constitutional monarch.
Barbados remains a member of the Commonwealth, a union of 54 countries that were mostly former British territories.
The Queen is head of state of the United Kingdom and 15 other countries that were formerly under British rule — including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica and several other island nations in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America with a population of 287, 450 people, predominantly of African descent.
Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, it is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, and ranked as a leading tourist destination. Of the tourists, 40% come from the UK, with the US and Canada making up the next large groups of visitors to the island.