Barbados becomes a new republic
At midnight Monday, Barbados lowered the British Royal Standard flag in the crowded Heroes Square and declared the Caribbean island’s transition to a republic form of government. Fireworks lit up the sky during the event, which also included a performance of the national anthem and a 21-gun salute. Barbados’ governor general, Sandra Mason, was sworn in as the island’s president after her election last month by the island’s Parliament.
What prompted the move? Lawmakers announced the long-sought move to remove Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state during an annual Throne Speech last year. Prime Minister Mia Mottley had said it was time to “fully leave our colonial past behind.” The island of more than 300,000 people gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. Barbados will remain a member of the Commonwealth.
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