Barbados becomes republic removing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state – BBC News

hello welcome to bbc world news the caribbean islands nation barbados has become the world's newest republic severing its colonial bonds with britain nearly 400 years after the first boats arrived there at the stroke of midnight president dame sandra mason replaced queen elizabeth as head of state bells rang out in the capital bridgetown signalling the transition our correspondent daniel ralph was there the world's newest republic and a show of national pride this constitutional shift in barbados is about asserting self-confidence and shedding the links to its colonial past some of this country's most well-known names were among the vip guests attending the transition ceremony and also here to watch it all play out the prince of wales invited to see his mother removed as a head of state the first time that has happened anywhere in 30 years for the final time on this caribbean island he viewed a military march past and took the final salute and then the symbolic moment of transition as the royal standard was lowered over barbados it became a republic it's hard to imagine that this event wasn't tinged with some sadness for the prince of wales he has focused on the enduring friendship between two nations and also spoken directly about the pain of a shared history from the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery which forever stains our history the people of this island forge their path with extraordinary fortitude emancipation self-government and independence where your waypoints freedom justice and self-determination have been your guides an acknowledgment of the past as this island looked forward and swore in its first ever president i sandra prunella mason do swear that i will be faithful and bear true allegiance to barbados according to law so help me god casting aside the official link to the british monarchy barbados is increasingly looking east to china for financial support there are republican rumblings too in other caribbean nations they will be watching this newest republic closely daniel ralph bbc news bridgetown barbados let's go to our correspondent celestina ololodi who joins us now from uh bridgetown live so celestina i mean given barbados was granted independence i think in 66 this was today more about emotion and symbolism perhaps well tim welcome to the world's newest republic this is indeed a symbolic moment for the country a moment of history because the 396 years this island has been under a british monarchical system so yes this certainly is a symbolic moment and the prime minister of the country says that now barbados can leave its colonial paths behind this was an acknowledgement of the darkest days of colonialism by prince charles but not a full-blown apology and is that something that a lot of people in barbados want i think when you talk about slavery in barbados what a lot of people have told me is they want to talk about reparations barbados of course is part of caracom and the prime minister has said that look this is something that needs to be addressed it's something that needs to be discussed because when this country because when um slavery ended the the planters the the people that own slaves were compensated but the enslaved africans themselves and their descendants weren't it's interesting isn't it prince charles went into this ceremony as a future king of barbados he he left or he's leaving now as just another visiting dignitary was there universal support for his visit there this time or had demonstrations been planned in protest at this well it depends really on how who you talk to there were some barbadians who told me look they find it amusing that prince charles has been invited to the celebrations by prime minister mia motley but then on the other hand there are those that say look we understand the diplomatic significance of this but why is prince charles being given an award here why is he being offered that and that's something that i asked prime minister motley and she said that look she wants to continue to have cordial relationships to have a cordial relationship with um britain and she is a friend of prince charles so she wants to keep those ties going but just as a republic okay celestine olynyk thanks very much indeed for joining us here

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