Barbados Becomes a Republic, by Peter Boyce
History shall now record that on this 30th Day of November, 2021, the people of Barbados - my birthland, on the said day of the 55th anniversary of independence of the island, stood before the entire World, including the British monarchy, and duly and peacefully declared a new Republic, thus ending 396-years of British doiminance over the 166-square-miles island in the Caribbean.
Barbados first came under the spell of the British Empire in 1625 which settled the island in February 1627. Slavery became systematic at the height of the sugar revolution in the 1640s; emancipation finally came in 1834; and independence on November 30, 1966. Barbadians did not attain full sovereignty via independence as the British monarch remained as head of state of the island, ruling through a Governor General and within a constitutional monarchy system with a Prime Minister as head of government of a bi-carmel parliamentary democracy.
At midnight on November 30, 2021, Dame Sandra Mason was installed as the first President of the world's newsest Republic - Barbados, in a ceremony full of pomp in the capital city, Bridgetown, and attended by the Prince of Wales, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, superstar Rihanna and other dignitaries. So the British monarchy is no longer head of Barbados, a Barbadian is, yet good 'blood' remains between Barbados and the United Kingdom and Barbados will remain in the Commonwealth.
The transition to a Republic was championed by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the island's first female head of government, who appears to be evolving as a Barbadian, Caribbean and international politician intent on leaving a remarkable mark on humanity.