World

Barbados will drop Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state next year

The Caribbean nation’s Governor-General, Sandra Mason, stated in a speech on Tuesday that “the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind.”

She stated the nation will turn into a republic as early as November of next year, when it celebrates its 55th anniversary of independence from the British empire.

The Queen is head of state of the United Kingdom and 15 different international locations that had been previously beneath British rule — together with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica and a number of other different island nations within the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.

But many Barbadians have lengthy agitated to take away her standing — and with it, the lingering symbolic presence of imperialism over its governance — and a number of leaders this century have proposed that the nation turn into a republic.

“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 stated, studying a speech written by the nation’s Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, on the state opening of Parliament on Tuesday.

“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.”

A royal supply advised CNN that the choice is a matter for the federal government and other people of Barbados.

Several international locations dropped the Queen as head of state within the years after they gained independence, with Mauritius the final to take action, in 1992.

But Barbados’ transfer to fast-track a course of that had beforehand been mooted for a public vote might sign a brand new wave of nations contemplating a push towards full self-governance, significantly as the historic function of the British empire comes beneath renewed scrutiny.

Mason cites a warning by Barbados’ first Prime Minister, Errol Walton Barrow, in opposition to “loitering on colonial premises.”

“That warning is as relevant today as it was in 1966,” she stated. “Having attained Independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance.”

Barbados stays a member of the Commonwealth, a union of 54 international locations that had been principally former British territories.

Earlier this year, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex inspired the UK to reckon with its colonial previous, highlighting the “wrongs” of its historic involvement in the countries that now make up that bloc.

CNN’s Max Foster contributed to this report.

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