Barbados officially announced its separation from the British Crown and the transition to a republic, becoming the newest republic in the world.
The country abandoned the monarchy, under which Queen Elizabeth II was the head of the political system in the country.
A ceremony in Bridgetown saw the inauguration of Sandra Mason, the first female president of the fledgling republic.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, attended the celebration, which coincided with the celebration of the fifty-fifth anniversary of the island’s independence.
The ceremony was also attended by a number of dignitaries, including singer Rihanna, who has the nationality of the island.
In a speech during the ceremony, Prince Charles referred to the “hateful tragedies of slavery” that the island had suffered.
This new shift ends centuries of British influence in the region, including for more than 200 years, the island was a transit point for the transatlantic slave trade.
To signify this shift in power and the system of government, during the ceremony a farewell salute was given to the Queen of Britain and to the British royal flag before it was officially replaced by the flag of the new republic.
During his speech as a guest of honor for the ceremony, Prince Charles said that relations between the two peoples will continue, despite the constitutional changes, and described the moment as a new beginning, before the country’s president awarded him the National Medal of Freedom.
For her part, Queen Elizabeth II extended her “warm wishes for a future full of prosperity, peace and prosperity” to Barbados, stressing that she “holds a special place” in her heart.
Under the recent changes, Sandra Mason, 72, who bears the nickname “Dim” in the British and Commonwealth honors system and has held the position of governor of the island since 2018, became the country’s first female president, after a vote in Parliament, last month, thus replacing Sandra. Replaced the Queen of Britain as the head of the political system on the island.
Barbados announced last year its plans to secede from the British crown, but will remain in the Commonwealth of Nations.
During the party, Mason declared Rihanna the national hero of the country, and said, “I hope you continue to shine like a diamond and bring prosperity to your nation.”
Daniella’s analysis Ralph
King’s Affairs CorrespondentYeh
It was a hot night that combined politics and the arts in a huge party, in which national pride appeared, on the banks of this island, in the presence of a number of the most famous personalities in it as guests of honor, including the famous cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers, and singer Rihanna.
And between them sat Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and it must have been a moment of intertwined emotions for him: he received the final salutation as a member of the royal family, and watched the official royal flag hoisted for the last time on the island, while ending the status of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as political head of the island.
Prince Charles used his speech to stress the pain slavery caused, and to underscore the strong friendship between the two countries.
The royal family can no longer stop the constitutional change, but it can maintain good relations with Barbados.
For her part, Prime Minister Mia Motley said that the transition to a republic, ushered in the country’s departure from the colonial past in full.
In 1627 Captain Henry Powell moved a group of English settlers to the island, who established a colony there, and subsequently developed it as an economy based on sugar plantations using slaves brought from Africa.
In 1834, slavery was abolished in Barbados, and the island gained its independence in 1966.
Barbados is not the first former British colony in the Caribbean to become a republic. Guyana took this step in 1970, less than four years after gaining independence from Britain. Trinidad and Tobago followed suit in 1976, and Dominica in 1978.
With a population of about 285,000 people, Barbados is one of the largest countries in the Caribbean region in terms of population.