BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: In a colonial unshackling, Barbados will say goodbye to the British monarch, as the reign of Queen Elizabeth will come to an end this December, with the island's transitioning to a republican status.
Barbados, a British Caribbean colony that became independent in 1966, announced that it would move forward with its republican agenda in September, as its governor general, Sandra Mason, 73, affirmed that "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind."
Mason will assume the role as the first president of Barbados at a swearing-in on November 29. Through a unanimous election in October, Mason emerged as the clear choice of the parliament of the Caribbean country.
Among the attendees at this event will be Prince Charles, the English successor to the Queen. Charles will be the honoree at the celebratory event, as per information provided by Clarence House.
"Becoming a republic is a coming of age," according to Guy Hewitt, former high commissioner of Barbados to the UK, as quoted by CNN.
"I make the analogy to when a child grows up and gets their own house, gets their own mortgage, gives their parents back the keys, because it says we are moving on," Hewitt added.
The Caribbean island's choice signals an important moment, when a country intends to pull back from the tradition of British monarchy, with the last country to do so being Mauritius in the 1990s.
Similar to Mauritius, Barbados is also keen to stay as a Commonwealth member.