One less realm for Queen Elizabeth II, Barbados to declare itself a republic
- Sandra Mason, 73, will be sworn in as Barbados' first-ever president
- Prince Charles, who is the heir to the British throne, will be present at the swearing-in ceremony
- Becoming a republic is a coming of age, said a former Barbados high commissioner to the UK
Barbados is all set to break its final imperial links to Britain by removing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of the state, declaring itself a republic. Barbados, a former British colony, retraced its route to becoming a republic last September. Commenting on this, the country's governor-general, Sandra Mason, had said: "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind."
Sandra Mason, 73, will be sworn in as Barbados' first-ever president during a ceremony late Monday night. The island nation's parliament elected Sandra last month. The population of Barbados is just under 300,000.
Prince Charles, who is the heir to the British throne and future head of the Commonwealth will be present at the festivities. He will be joined by a 54-member organization of mostly former British territories.
As per Clarence House, Prince Charles accepted the invitation from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to be a guest of honor at the transition celebrations.
"Becoming a republic is a coming of age," said Guy Hewitt, who served as Barbados high commissioner to the United Kingdom between 2014 and 2018.
"I make the analogy to when a child grows up and gets their own house, gets their own mortgage, gives their parents back the keys because it says we are moving on," CNN quoted Guy as saying.
Barbados's decision is the first time in nearly 30 years that a realm has decided to remove the British monarch as head of the state. The last time something like this happened was in 1992. That time the island of Mauritius did so. Like Mauritius, Barbados, too, has expressed the interest to remain a part of the Commonwealth.
As per a CNN report, a royal source told the news organisation that the decision was an issue for the government and the people of Barbados. The source added that the decision was not "out of the blue". The decision had "mooted and publicly talked" about many times.