The Queen is no longer head of state in Barbados, with the country today replacing her with a President and ending 400 years of links with Britain. And as the landmark moment was marked in National Heroes Square in Bridgetown with Prince Charles present, it was announced that the Queen has sent a message congratulating the new President of and people of Barbados.
“On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first President of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians,” the message read.
The Queen continued by recalling her first visit to Barbados in 1966 on the eve of its independence and wrote that she was “very pleased” that Prince Charles was there to mark them becoming a republic. The Queen wrote of “a partnership based on common values” between Barbados and the UK and mentioned that it was a “a source of great satisfaction” that Barbados was remaining a member of the Commonwealth of 54 nations.
Barbados announced the intention to remove the Queen as head of state in September 2020 and Dame Sandra Mason, who was once the Queen’s representative in Barbados, was sworn in as the first President in the early hours of this morning. Prince Charles attended the ceremony where he was awarded with the Order of the Freedom of Barbados and made a speech in which he addressed Britain’s colonial history and the “appalling atrocity of slavery.”
Read the Queen’s full message below:
On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first President of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians.
I first visited your beautiful country on the eve of independence in early 1966, and I am very pleased that my son is with you today. Since then, the people of Barbados have held a special place in my heart; it is a country rightfully proud of its vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty, that attracts visitors from all over the world, including many people from the United Kingdom.
Over the years, our countries have enjoyed a partnership based on common values, shared prosperity, and close collaboration on a wide range of issues, including recent work on climate change. It is also a source of great satisfaction that Barbados remains an active participant within the Commonwealth, and I look forward to the continuation of the friendship between our two countries and peoples.
As you celebrate this momentous day, I send you and all Barbadians my warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future.
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