London – AFP
After Barbados, which will become, on Tuesday, a republic, experts expect that other kingdoms will follow the example of this island located in the Caribbean Sea to be liberated from the British crown, noting that “a trend that will inevitably continue.”
In 1997, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, recited in Hong Kong a message from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, during a ceremony on a rainy day that finally witnessed the handover of this former British colony to China, after more than 150 years. After 24 years, the 73-year-old emir will be present, during a new transfer of sovereignty. Barbados, a small Caribbean nation that gained independence in 1966, held its first presidential election in October, 13 months after declaring its constitutional separation from the British crown.
And Prince Charles will confirm in his speech, based on what his office revealed, “As your constitutional status has changed, it has been important to me to join you in reaffirming things that do not change, such as the partnership between Barbados and Britain as vital members of the Commonwealth.”
Charles risks inheriting a British monarchy whose global reach will diminish; Experts believe that several kingdoms may follow Barbados. The transformation this country has brought about is in fact a “natural progression” following a trend that began shortly after the Queen took the throne in 1952, said Joe Little, editor of Majesty Magazine.
The expert explained: This trend will inevitably continue. Not necessarily under the current government, but under the next government and its pace is likely to accelerate.
In 1947, five years before Queen Elizabeth II ascended the British throne, the United Kingdom witnessed the transformation of India, once considered the “jewel in the crown,” into an independent republic. After her accession to the throne in 1952, independence movements swept many of the former British colonies, which severed relations with the Crown, especially because of the bloody invasion and the slave trade. But some colonies remained loyal to the crown.
Barbados, with a population of 300,000, followed the example of Fiji (1987) and Mauritius (1992), which became republics after Guyana (1970), Trinidad and Tobago (1976) and Dominica (1978).
Hilary Pickles, a professor of history in Barbados, said the celebration, which falls on the eve of the country’s 55th anniversary of independence, would be a “historic moment.” She added that for countries and other countries that were colonized, this would be a symbol of liberation from “the tyranny of imperial and colonial power”, in addition to the “brutal legacy” of slavery.
Queen Elizabeth II is the most popular of the royal family and, for many, embodies the country’s last living connection to its imperial past. Experts fear the transition to republics will become more pressing for many of the remaining kingdoms when Prince Charles ascends the throne. Therefore, Little sees it very likely that Australia, or Canada, will choose a local president for the country.
In 1999, Australians voted in a referendum to decide whether their country should become a republic with a locally elected president or remain under British sovereignty, but the proposal was ultimately not accepted. Graham Smith of the British anti-monarchy group “Republic” sees Barbados’ example as “useful”; Because it shows that liberation from ownership can easily be achieved. He expected that “this will have a significant impact”, as happened in Jamaica.
In the United Kingdom, there is little support for ending the monarchy among the older generations (only 13 percent of those aged 65 and over) in becoming a republic, according to a May survey by YouGov.
On the other hand, 41 percent of those aged between 18 and 24 support the election of a president. Smith believed that this was explained by the high awareness of the youth of the anti-colonial struggle and racism.