Barbados to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state next year
"Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state"
Barbados wants to remove the Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and become a republic, the nation's government has said.
The Caribbean island said it wants "full sovereignty" by the time it celebrates its 55th anniversary of independence from the UK in November 2021.
"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," Governor-General, Sandra Mason, said in a speech written by Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, on Tuesday.
"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 sovereignty from Britain in 1966 but the Queen has remained its constitutional monarch and head of state.
The removal of the Queen as the head of state has been mooted in the country since a Barbados constitutional review commission recommended republican status back in 1998.
Many Caribbean countries have retained their links with the monarchy following independence however Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and Guyana have all opted to sever ties.
The Queen is currently the formal head of state in 16 countries and Barbados remains a member of the Commonwealth, a union of 54 countries, the majority of which are former British colonies.