Barbados drops Queen as head of state to become republic

29 November 2021, 17:13 | Updated: 29 November 2021, 17:24

Barbados will become the world's youngest republic at midnight on 30 November
Barbados will become the world's youngest republic at midnight on 30 November. Picture: Alamy

By Seán Hickey

At midnight on 30 November 2021, Barbados will become the world's youngest republic, ending 396 years of British influence.

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In a ceremony on Monday evening, Barbados will remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and formally become a republic.

Prince Charles touched down in Bridgetown on Monday to represent the Royal Family at handover celebrations in Barbados.

The Prince of Wales will also receive the freedom of Barbados at tonight's ceremony for extraordinary service to the country.

Barbados is set to be the first former British colony to become a republic since Mauritius in 1992.

The current and last Governor-General of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason will take over as the Caribbean island's first president at midnight on 30 November 2021.

Queen Elizabeth II on her final state visit to Barbados in 1989
Queen Elizabeth II on her final state visit to Barbados in 1989. Picture: Alamy

She became president-elect by majority in the upper and lower houses of the Bajan legislature after receiving support from both the Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and opposition leader Bishop Joseph Atherley.

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Barbados came under English influence 396 years ago after John Powell arrived in 1625. It then had its first settlement in 1927 near Holetown, formerly Jamestown.

Barbados' last Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason with The Queen
Barbados' last Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason with The Queen. Picture: Alamy
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Barbados during their Caribbean tour in 1977
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Barbados during their Caribbean tour in 1977. Picture: Alamy

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The island received full internal self-government in 1961, with independence being won in 1966.

The Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley has said it will be "great" that Barbados will have a woman as their first president.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holmes has announced that the Jamaican constitution will undergo a major review next year as Barbados prepares for full independence.