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Barbados completes the transfer of power from the British Crown and becomes a republic

Published:

30 November 2021 04:02 GMT

Fifty-five years after the country gained independence, Sandra Mason assumes the presidency and is succeeded by Queen Elizabeth II as President.

On Tuesday Barbados made a historic change and transferred power from the British crown, becoming a republic.

The dedication ceremony for the transfer of power began on Monday afternoon today. During the event, Sandra Mason assumed the presidency and was appointed head of state in place of Queen Elizabeth II.

Barbados became an independent nation from the United Kingdom in 1966, after which its form of government became a parliamentary monarchy. In October 2021, Mason was elected the country’s first female president.

The central moment of the ceremony took place at midnight. In the first minute of the next day, 21 artillery shells marked the birth of the Republic of Barbados, followed by the national anthem and the cheers of hundreds of people in the capital, Bridgetown’s Heroes Square.

Similarly, the banner of Queen Elizabeth II was later lowered to present new symbols of republican power.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, witnessed this change of identity, and a few minutes later delivered a speech congratulating the “new chapter” on the history of the Barbadian people.

The celebration included national dance and music performances, as well as a speech by Prime Minister Mia Motley to pay tribute to the end of the colonial era and pay homage to national heroes representing the culture of Barbados, including singer Rihanna.

Events culminated in Mason taking office as the new head of state.

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