Barbados Renouncing British Queen became Republican Government
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.
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.
In Bridgetown, Barbadians have been preparing celebrations for their new republic, with Prince Charles expected to deliver a speech stressing that warm relations between the island and the UK would continue despite the constitutional change.
“I am happy. We are on our own now with no king or queen from England,” Nigel Mayers, 60, who sells oranges in the city centre, told the Reuters news agency. “This is the full drop after independence.
Barbados the last country to renounce British Queen is republic
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.
The last country to renounce the Crown was the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in 1992.
Experts have said Barbados’s move may fuel republicanism in other Commonwealth realms, especially in Jamaica, where the two main political parties support breaking away from the monarchy completely.
Joe Little, managing editor of London-based Majesty Magazine, said Barbados’s decision was a “natural progression” of a trend that started with Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne in 1952.
Barbados is the last country to became Republic under the British government, they renounced the British Queen to gain independence.