Queen Elizabeth received some big news prior to leaving Balmoral this week. On Tuesday, Dame Sandra Prunella Mason, Governor-General of Barbados, announced that Barbados plans to become a Republic and remove Her Majesty as its Head of State. “Barbados has developed governance structures and institutions that mark us as what has been described as, “the best governed Black society in the world.” Since Independence, we Barbadians have sought constantly to improve our systems of law and governance so as to ensure they best reflect our characteristics and values as a nation,” Sandra said in her Throne Speech on Tuesday. “Barbados’ first prime minister, The Rt. Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, cautioned against loitering on colonial premises. That warning is as relevant today as it was in 1966. Having attained Independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance. The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State.”
She continued, “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.”
According to HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO!, Buckingham Palace has since responded saying, “This is a matter for the government and people of Barbados.”
Barbados to become republic, remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state by November 2021 when nation marks 55th anniversary of independence, announces Dame Sandra Mason, Governor General and the Queen's domestic rep, in outlining upcoming priorities of @miaamormottley admin. pic.twitter.com/M5YIAWXrsV— Jovan Johnson (@jovanthony) September 15, 2020
While Barbados, a former British colony, gained its independence in 1966, Queen Elizabeth, 94, is currently the country’s Head of State. Prince William’s grandmother is also the monarch of 14 other Commonwealth Realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. The last country that removed the Queen as its Head of State was Mauritius in 1992.
The news of Barbados came ahead of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip leaving their Scottish residence, Balmoral, for Sandringham Estate on Wednesday. Per HELLO!, the royal couple will be spending the remainder of the month privately together in Norfolk. Last week, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, “Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements. These plans will be kept under review and will of course be subject to all relevant guidance and advice.”