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- President of Barbados
The Queen’s role as Barbados’ head of state has ended, as of November 30, 2021.
This change was made official during an overnight inauguration ceremony for Dame Sandra Mason, who was sworn in as president, as the country becomes a republic. It also marked the country’s 55th anniversary of independence.
In light of Barbados becoming the world's most recent republic, though still remaining in the commonwealth, the Queen, who referred to the country as a special place, sent the country good wishes, peace and prosperity going forwards, BBC reports.
She said: ‘On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first president of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians.'
Her Majesty also told Barbados’ first president Mason: ‘I first visited your beautiful country on the eve of independence in early 1966, and I am very pleased that my son is with you today. Since then, the people of Barbados have held a special place in my heart; it is a country rightly proud of its vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty, that attracts visitors from all over the world, including many people from the United Kingdom,’ as per The Guardian.
The Queen has sent a message to the President and people of Barbados as it becomes a Republic within the Commonwealth:
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 30, 2021
The Queen went on to say that she has enjoyed her ties with the nation, which she highlighted was built on common values, prosperity and togetherness, in relation to issues such as climate change.
She continued with: ‘It is also a source of great satisfaction that Barbados remains an active participant within the Commonwealth, and I look forward to the continuation of the friendship between our two countries and peoples.
‘As you celebrate this momentous day, I send you and all Barbadians my warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future. Elizabeth R.’
During the ceremony, Prince Charles, who was awarded the Order of Freedom of Barbados by Mason, addressed the horrendous slavery issues that the country has suffered.
He then followed up with a positive speech to show how the nation has overcome difficult times.
Her Majesty is Queen of Barbados, and has visited six times during her reign.
📸The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh wave goodbye as they embark on their first visit to Barbados, at the start of a Caribbean tour in 1966✈️ pic.twitter.com/pgN5kGFK7O
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 28, 2020
‘From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude. Emancipation, self-government and Independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides,’ he said, as published on The Prince of Wales' official website.
‘Tonight you write the next chapter of your nation’s story, adding to the treasury of past achievement, collective enterprise and personal courage which already fill its pages,’ he concluded.
Also in attendance at the ceremony was singer, beauty mogul and proud Bajan Rihanna, who dressed in a silk, asymmetrical dress by Bottega Veneta.
The inauguration signals new beginnings for Barbados and Britain, the latter of which has influenced the island for over two centuries.
As the Queen nears her 70th anniversary on the throne, she is still currently head of state of 15 countries.
In addition, she heads up a number of overseas territories, including Gibralta and the Cayman Islands.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Barbados in 2019, during which The Prince said: “I can only say how much pride I take in the close bond between my own family and the people of this very special Island.” 🇧🇧 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/iYEYoy4Z9F
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) November 29, 2021
Seemingly, Jamaica might follow in Barbados’ footsteps, if a recent speech by the island’s opposition leader, Mark Golding, is anything to go by.
‘I think the matters of removing the Queen as our head of state and reparations for slavery are very significant; they’re fundamental to our identity and our nationhood,’ he recently told The Independent.
The last country to take a similar path to Barbados was Mauritius, when announcing becoming republic in 1992.
Recent revelations come after Prince Charles recently gave an update on his 95-year-old mother’s health.
He said: ‘Once you get to 95, it's not quite as easy as it used to be.’
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