BRIDGETOWN (CU)_21-gun salute fired, as hundreds of people Chamberlain Bridge in Bridgetown cheered at the stroke of midnight, marking a new chapter in the history of Barbados, the Caribbean island which became the latest republic in the world. Nearly 400 years after English ships dropped anchor in the seas of the island nation, the British monarch was replaced as its head of state, severing the country’s last remaining colonial bonds with the European nation.
After several a dazzling performance of Barbadian dance and music, speeches celebrating the historical occasion were delivered, following which Sandra Mason was sworn in as the country’s first president. “Full stop this colonial page,” Winston Farrell, a Barbadian poet said during the ceremony. “Some have grown up stupid under the Union Jack, lost in the castle of their skin.”
“It is about us, rising out of the cane fields, reclaiming our history,” he added. “End all that she mean, put a Bajan there instead.”
The event was attended by Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, who arrived in Barbados on Monday (29 Nov). As her touched down at Grantley Adams Airport in Bridgetown, he was welcomed by then-president-elect Dame Sandra Mason and Prime Minister Mia Motley, together with Britain’s high commissioner to Barbados, Scott Furssedonn-Wood.
His Royal Highnesses expected to deliver a speech highlighting the “close and trusted partnership” between Barbados and the United Kingdom as members of the Commonwealth, reports have revealed. The Caribbean island will continue to remain a republic within political association of 54 member states from across the globe. However, the withdrawal of Barbados from the monarchy will being the number of states which continue to have the Queen as their Head of State to 15, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.