Queen Elizabeth is going to be removed from the throne in one British territory—Barbados.
As Barbados has completed its process of republican independence, the Queen will be handing over the reins to a President who will be in charge of the newly independent country.
A source at Buckingham Palace said that the idea “was not out of the blue” and “has been mooted and publicly talked about many times”. Barbados aims to complete the process in time for the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, in November 2021.
The former British colony, which had been partially granted political freedom, became officially independent on 29 September after a vote in Parliament. The decision was approved by the majority, and choosing the candidate was not a difficult task.
The first-ever President of Barbados will be Sandra Mason, a Barbadian magistrate. The 72-year-old woman is as well known to the people of Barbados as Elizabeth II is, since she was the Governor-General of the country—the representative of the Queen on the island.
“The time has come to put our colonial past completely behind us. 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,” Mason declared after the parliamentary vote.”
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The decision was very much anticipated by the islanders, as it was not the first time that the people asked for independence.
The state first applied for it around 1990 and renewed its request in 2015. The initiatives, however, were quickly dismissed because of the country’s complicated political context. This is why 30 November will be a deeply revered date for the inhabitants of the microstate.
It is actually quite unusual for a country to remove the Queen as its head of state. The last to do so was Mauritius in 1992. Other Caribbean countries like Dominica, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago became republics in the 1970s.
Many of the 15 countries that are currently part of the Queen’s realm seem to value the relationship it provides with her and the United Kingdom.
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