The process to make Barbados a republic by removing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state has begun with a date set for November next year according to prime minister Mia Mottley.
In a speech read by the governor-general of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason, Mia Mottley said in a written address that it was “time to fully leave our colonial past behind”.
“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.
“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.”
Barbados gained its independence from Britain in 1966, but the Queen remains its constitutional monarch.
The move to declare Barbados a republic has been a long time coming: in 1998, a Barbadian constitutional review commission recommended republican status; and, in 2015, the then prime minister, Freundel Stuart, said: “We have to move from a monarchical system to a republican form of government in the very near future.”
Barbados will join Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and Guyana in cutting ties if it proceeds with its plan.
Jamaica has also indicated that it plans such a transition, with its prime minister, Andrew Holness, saying it is a priority of his government.