At midnight on Monday, it was over: Queen Elizabeth was an observer at Prince Charles’ laundry of royal standards. Since November 30, 1966 Independence Day, Barbados has been a republic. “It is time to push our colonial past completely behind us,” Prime Minister Mia Motley told the BBC.
The Caribbean island will be a member of the Commonwealth, a voluntary consortium of more than fifty countries that have been under British rule in the past. But Barbados gets a little bit British-in-the-Tropics. Four hundred years ago, after brief Spanish and Portuguese periods, the airy island came under British control, who brought slaves from Africa to work on the plantations there – mainly sugar.
Government buildings have portraits of Queen Elizabeth, the hospital is named after her, and the police and post office are crowned with their uniforms. Most of that will change after Sandra Mason takes office after midnight. He was the first president of about 300,000 people living in Barbados. Barbados’ decision may have sparked debate over whether Elizabeth should be queen in other former British colonies, such as Canada, Australia or Jamaica. (NRC)
A version of this article was published in the NRC on the morning of November 30, 2021
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