Barbados desires to remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and grow to be a republic, the Caribbean island nation’s authorities has mentioned, reviving a plan mooted a number of instances prior to now.
A former British colony that gained independence in 1966, Barbados has maintained a proper hyperlink with the monarchy, as have another international locations that have been as soon as half of the United Kingdom’s empire.
“The time has come to absolutely go away our colonial previous behind,” mentioned Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason, delivering a speech on behalf of the nation’s prime minister, Mia Mottley.
“Barbadians need a Barbadian head of state. This is the final word assertion of confidence in who we’re and what we’re succesful of attaining. Hence, Barbados will take the subsequent logical step towards full sovereignty and grow to be a republic by the point we have a good time our 55th anniversary of independence.”
That anniversary will are available in November of subsequent yr.
Buckingham Palace mentioned the difficulty was a matter for the individuals of Barbados. Britain’s Foreign Office mentioned the choice was one for Barbados to take.
“Barbados and the U.K. are united in our shared historical past, tradition, language and far more. We have a permanent partnership and can proceed to work with them together with all our valued Caribbean companions,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman mentioned.
Island remodeled by slave commerce
As issues stand, the governor common of Barbados is appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the island’s prime minister. The governor common represents the Queen at formal occasions such as the state opening of parliament, which was the event at which Mason delivered the speech on Tuesday.
The United Kingdom has performed a key function within the historical past of Barbados, which was remodeled by the Atlantic slave commerce. The island was claimed for England in 1625, when Captain Henry Powell landed there.
It was shortly settled and stayed in British fingers over the centuries, not like different Caribbean islands that have been fought over by the Spanish, English, Dutch, French and Americans. The introduction of African slaves to work the sugar plantations fields introduced fabulous wealth for the white ruling class.
Today, Barbados’s inhabitants of below 300,000 is overwhelmingly of African descent. Some cultural hyperlinks to the United Kingdom are nonetheless evident: cities have names like Hastings and streets like Liverpool Lane, whereas the game of cricket could be very standard.
Britain is house to a big group of individuals of Barbadian descent.