The Government of Barbados announced its intention to remove Queen Isabel II until November 2021, when the country celebrates the 55th anniversary of independence from Great Britain.
“The time has come to completely leave our colonial past behind. We want a Barbadian head of state, ”said Barbados governor Sandra Mason.
In a speech written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the executive underlines that “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state”. The passage to the Republic will be a “statement of confidence in who we are and what we are able to achieve”. Barbados gained independence in 1966, but chose to retain Queen Elizabeth II – sovereign of 16 states – as head of state.
The speech also made reference to Errol Barrow, the first prime minister appointed after independence, who argued that the country should not “waste time on colonial premises”. “This warning is as relevant today as it was in 1966,” said the governor of Barbados. “Having achieved independence more than half a century ago, our country must have no doubts about its capacity for self-government”, Stressed the governor.
A fountain at Buckingham Palace, cited by BBC, advances that “the idea did not come out of nowhere” and “was discussed and spoken publicly several times”.
Barrow was not the only one to defend the removal of the monarchy. Former Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart, also advocated “a change from a monarchical system to a Republic in the near future”.
Barbados is not the first former British colony to leave the monarchy, but it is the first country to do so in almost three decades.
Among the former colonies in the Caribbean, Guyana took the same step in 1970, less than four years after becoming independent from Britain. Trinidad and Tobago also dismissed Isabel II in 1976 and two years later, the same was true in Dominica.