Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state and become sovereign

Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state and become sovereign
© Getty Images

Barbados officials announced on Tuesday that the country is set to remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and become a republic by next year.

“Having obtained independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance. The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” Barbados Governor-General Sandra Mason said in a Tuesday speech written by the nation's prime minister, Mia Mottley, ahead of the opening of Parliament. 

“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence of who we are and what we are capable of achieving,” she continued. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Mason vowed that Barbados will become a republic as soon as November 2021, when the Caribbean nation will mark its 55th anniversary of independence.

Queen Elizabeth II remains the head of state in 15 other countries previously under British rule, like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica.

Buckingham Palace said that the move is a decision for the people and leaders of Barbados, the BBC reported. A royal source confirmed to the outlet that the move has been “mooted and publicly talked about” multiple times.

The last country to remove the Queen as head of state was Mauritius in 1992.

Mason on Tuesday cited Barbados’s first Prime Minister Errol Walton Barrow, who warned against “loitering on colonial premises.”

"That warning is as relevant today as it was in 1966," she said.

Mason also called Barbados the "best-governed Black society in the world" on Tuesday.