English divorce. Barbados, a Caribbean micro-state, will free itself from subjugation to the British crown and become a republic by the end of November 2021. The constitutional divorce has been announced by the governor-general of the island, Sandra Mason , in a speech at the start of the school year by the local parliament.
“Having obtained its independence more than half a century ago, our country can have no doubts about its capacities to manage itself”, said Mme Mason, who was speaking Tuesday in the capital, Bridgetown. “The time has come to say a real farewell to our colonial past. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state ”, continued the one who is the official representative of the Queen of England. A sign of the UK’s deep imprint on Barbados, Sandra Mason was just reading the “Speech from the throne” of Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley. Exactly as the Queen does in Westminster, by unveiling the government’s program, in a lavish, highly codified ceremony, anchored in a centuries-old tradition.
Elizabeth II will therefore lose her sovereignty over one of the last kingdoms of the Commonwealth, an organization grouping together former British colonies that have become independent. Asked in London on the subject, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said the decision fell within “Of the authorities and people of Barbados”. The separation from the British Crown will mark “The supreme affirmation of confidence in who we are and in what we are capable of”, assured the Governor-General of the island state. “Barbados will take the next logical step towards full sovereignty and become a republic by the day of celebration of the 55e anniversary of our independence, November 30, 2021 », she detailed.
14 countries keep Elizabeth II as sovereign
This tourist pearl of the Lesser Antilles is popular with Anglo-Saxon high society. Covering only 430 km2, it had 287,000 inhabitants in 2019 according to the World Bank. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the island of heavenly beaches and crystal clear waters was visited by more than a million tourists every year. Barbados is the birthplace of world superstar Rihanna. The singer has also been officially appointed ambassador of the island state, responsible for promoting tourism, education and investment.
A number of countries have since their independence chosen to withdraw the position of Head of State from the Queen of England, the last being Mauritius, which in 1992 became a republic, following the example of Ghana (1960), South Africa (1960) or The Gambia (1970). In other countries like Australia, the issue was put to referendum and rejected.
Elizabeth II remains the Head of State, in addition to the United Kingdom, of the following 14 nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint -Kitts-et-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon and Tuvalu.