Barbados declared itself the world’s latest republic on Tuesday, formally severing ties with Queen Elizabeth II and the British royal household.
At a midnight ceremony in its capital of Bridgetown, the Caribbean island nation put in Dame Sandra Mason as its new president and head of state. Mason had beforehand served as governor-general, Elizabeth’s official consultant within the nation.
“Vessel Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage,” Mason said after being sworn in. “Might she climate all storms and land our nation and residents safely on the horizons and shores that are forward of us.”
Barbados introduced plans to turn into a republic final yr, ending practically 400 years of British presence within the nation.
It has been an impartial nation since 1966, however the queen had served as formal head of state, as she nonetheless does for Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Jamaica, amongst different nations.
Her oldest son, Prince Charles, was in attendance for the ceremony, watching on because the British monarch’s royal customary flag was lowered after which changed.
Charles was awarded the Order of Freedom of Barbados, telling the brand new nation that his mom wished them properly.
He additionally spoke out in opposition to the British colonial historical past of slavery within the nation, which had been certainly one of England’s unique colonies for enslaved folks.
“From the darkest days of our previous, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which endlessly stains our historical past, the folks of this island solid their path with extraordinary fortitude,” Charles stated in his speech.
“Tonight you write the subsequent chapter of your nation’s story,” the prince stated.
After she swore allegiance to the brand new president, Prime Minister Mia Mottley made certain one of many first official acts of the brand new republic was to honor certainly one of their most well-known native daughters: the singer Rihanna.
The music famous person, who was named an ambassador in 2018 and was in attendance at Tuesday’s ceremony, was declared a nationwide hero for “commanding the creativeness of the world via the pursuit of excellence, along with her creativity, her self-discipline, and, above all else, her extraordinary dedication to the land of her start.”
“Might you proceed to shine like a diamond,” the prime minister stated.