Barbados became the new republic in the world, it removed Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the first president of Barbados during an overnight ceremony held in Bridgetown.
The ceremony was attended by Barbadian singer Rihanna and Prince of Wales and celebrated the country’s 55th anniversary of independence. While giving the speech, Prince Charles acknowledged the “appalling atrocity of slavery” the Caribbean island suffered.
Britain’s centuries of influence ended, and a new era for Barbados started.
While showcasing the official changing of the power, the Barbados Coast Guard gave a final salute to the British Monarchy, and the Royal Standard flag was also lowered during the ceremony and replaced.
While speaking as guest of honour during the event, Prince Charles reemphasised the longstanding tie between both nations, although the constitutional status changed.
Via virtual message Queen sent her best wishes for the people of and Government of Barbados and said warmest good wishes and happiness, peace and prosperity in the future. She also added that the nation holds a “special place” in her heart.
Dame Sandra Mason, 72, the island’s governor-general since 2018, was named as president-elect of the nation following a vote in parliament last month. She now replaces the Queen as the head of state.
After being sworn in, President Mason said that one year ago, Barbados announced its plan to become a republic, but it would remain under the Commonwealth. She noted, “Vessel Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage. May she weather all storms and land our country and citizens safely on the horizons and shores which are ahead of us.”
During the ceremony, famous singer and billionaire Rihanna was declared a national hero. Prime Minister Mia Mottley swore allegiance to Barbados in front of the new president at the ceremony, and the ceremony lasted for several hours.