Updated: Sep 22, 2020
The Queen receives Governor-General of Barbados Sandra Mason during a private audience at Buckingham Palace in 2018 /CNN
According to CNN, Barbados has announced its plan to become a republic, removing Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. The former British Colony gained independence from Britain in 1966 and has since been part of the 15 territories known as Commonwealth Realms, in which Elizabeth remains head of State and is represented by a Governor General.
The news was delivered by Barbados Governor-General Sandra Mason on behalf of Prime Minister, Mia Mottley during the annual Throne Speech on Tuesday, September 15.
"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State"
Ms. Mason informed that the formal removal of the Queen as head of state is expected to occur before November 2021 as she stated:
"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 toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th anniversary of independence."
This is a very important step considering the fact that the debate over Barbados becoming a republic has been going since 1998. A royal source told CNN that it was a matter for the Government and people of Barbados, and informed that the idea “was not out of the blue” and had been discussed many times.
The Queen is head of state of the United Kingdom and 15 other countries that were formerly under British rule -- including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica and several other island nations in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. Therefore, Barbados initiative might encourage other nations to push toward full self-governance as well.
Nonetheless, Barbados remains a member of the Commonwealth, a union of 54 countries that were mostly former British territories.