The island nation of Barbados is cutting its ties with the UK and the royal family. The island has just announced that it will remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and officially become a republic by November 2021. The Queen has served as the island’s institutional monarch since Barbados gained independence from Britain and became a Commonwealth in 1966. Now, it wants to replace the Queen with a Barbadian head of state.
Governor-general Dame Sandra Mason read a speech written by prime minister Mia Mason, which said, “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th anniversary of independence.”
The island took an initial step toward republicanism in 2003 when it replaced the London-based judicial committee with a Caribbean court of justice located in Trinidad as its final appeals court.
Barbados isn’t the only Caribbean island to take this course of action. Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, and Guyana have also shed their imperial ties to become republics. Jamaica also reportedly has plans to become a republic.