Barbados Ditches the British Royal Crown
The island of Barbados liberates itself from under the authority of the British Crown, and Sandra Mason becomes the first female president of the country.
Barbados became the world's newest republic at daybreak on Tuesday, when it was liberated from the British Crown in an official ceremony attended by Prince Charles, the Crown Prince of the United Kingdom, during which his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was stripped of her position as Head of State.
During the ceremony, Barbados' Governor-General, Sandra Mason, was sworn in as President of the Republic, and the British crown flag, which symbolized Barbados' submission to Queen Elizabeth II's authority, was lowered.
"I, Sandra Brunella Mason, swear to be loyal to Barbados and to be faithful to it, as required by law, may God help me," Mason said during her swearing-in ceremony.
Barbados held its first presidential election in October, 13 months after declaring its constitutional separation from the British crown.
The nascent republic will henceforth confront on its own the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism, as well as the inequalities inherited from the colonial past.
Establishing a republic in this small Caribbean nation, independent since 1966, came after years of local campaigning and long debates over centuries of British influence punctuated by 200 years of slavery.
Before the spread of Corona, the island was visited by more than a million tourists every year. Other countries affiliated with the British throne plan to move away from it, including Australia, which voted to become a republic 22 years ago, but the proposal has not yet been adopted by Elizabeth II.
Elizabeth II is still officially the queen of 16 countries, including Australia and Canada, as well as Scotland and Wales.