Queen Elizabeth removed from the presidency of Barbados as the country moves to become a republic

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The Queen will be abandoned by a Commonwealth country as she strives to leave behind her “colonial past”.

Barbados will remove the Queen from her position as the official head of state next year.

The nation has plans to achieve full sovereignty as part of the celebrations for the 55th anniversary of its independence next November.

media_cameraBarbados is heading towards the Republic option. Photo: AFP

Australia held a failed republican referendum in 1999.

The move was announced in a letter written by Prime Minister Mia Motley and read out by the country’s Governor-General, Ms Sandra Mason.

The letter quoted a warning issued by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Errol Barrow, against “hanging around in colonial buildings”.

“It is time to leave our colonial past behind,” she said.

“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.

“This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.

“Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step towards full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate the 55th anniversary of our independence.”

Although the country was freed from colonial rule in 1966, the Queen remained her constitutional monarch.

Talks about removing the queen from the presidency began decades ago, with the recommendation of the Constitution Review Committee that the country became a republic in 1998.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: AFP
media_cameraBritain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: AFP

Most of the Caribbean countries maintained formal ties with the United Kingdom even after gaining independence.

When Barbados becomes a republic, it will join Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and Guyana as countries that have chosen to remove the queen from the head of state.

In 2003, plans to sever ties with the British monarchy intensified when Barbados replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which is based in London, with the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur decided to call a referendum on becoming a republic in 2005.

However, the vote was canceled due to concerns raised by the Elections and Boundaries Commission.

the Queen. Photo: Getty
media_camerathe Queen. Photo: Getty

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Previous administrations of Barbados’ neighbor, Jamaica, have made promises of plans to make the island also a republic, but no concrete steps have been taken to start the process.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holnes said he will bring the issue to the citizens in a “comprehensive referendum”.

If Jamaica became a republic, then all of the “Big Four” in Caribbean society (Caricom), which includes Barbados, Trinidad and Tobado and Guyana (Caricom), have removed the British monarchy as head of state.

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