Barbados plans to dump Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and become a republic by November 2021.
The island - which gained independence in 1966 - was once a jewel in the British Empire because of its lucrative sugar plantations, run entirely by slave labour imported from Africa.
The Governor General Sandra Mason - the Queen’s representative on the island, read out a speech on behalf of the Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Tuesday, 15 September.
Barbados to relieve the UK Queen of her duties by 2021.— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) September 16, 2020
“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 the globalization of #BLM. pic.twitter.com/gk7p5qn6mL
She said: "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.”
Ms Mottley promised Barbados would “take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic” by the time the island celebrates the 55th anniversary of independence in November next year.
Barbados decides, quite reasonably, that they do not want their Head of State to be based in a palace 4,000 miles away.— Charlie Proctor (@MonarchyUK) September 15, 2020
Cue the British and their sense of entitlement...
Doesn’t this just prove Prince Harry’s point? pic.twitter.com/8z26h9arl6
The announcement was greeted with glee by “Bajans” on social media, with many others claiming it was linked to the Black Lives Matter campaign.
But so far nobody has put forward the world’s most famous Barbadian, pop star Rihanna, becoming the republic’s first head of state.
Aside from Barbados, the Queen is also head of state in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Vincent and the Solomon Islands.
Last month Jamaica’s opposition People’s National Party (PNP) promised to get rid of the Queen as head of state if they won the general election. In the event they were heavily defeated by the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
Barbados has declared Independence 🇧🇧 and moving away from the shackles of colonialism!— Julie Ann Richards...Justice4BreonnaTaylor (@sapphofem) September 16, 2020
o Gymru 🏴
🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧🇧@gisbarbados @BarbadosToday @Barbados pic.twitter.com/PXdu1gO0kb