April 25, 2024

Barbados became a republic in a grand ceremony to revive relations with Queen Elizabeth II

Barbados became a republic in a grand ceremony to revive relations with Queen Elizabeth II

LONDON – Nearly 400 years later, the first English ship has landed on its Gold Coast, the former British colony Barbados Mars will rise as a republic.

Remove the little Caribbean country Queen Elizabeth II As head of state, he splits up at a party starting late on Monday british royal family And with him is the last thing left of the island Imperial Bonds to Great Britain.

It has been 55 years since Barbados gained full independence but has retained the monarch in a ceremonial role.

At the event, Sandra Mason of Barbados, who served as governor general or representative of the Queen of the Island, became the country’s first female president. Parliament last month elected a member of the House of Representatives, but Prime Minister Mia Motley will continue to rule the country.

“This is a huge step,” Christina Hinds, a senior lecturer in political science at the University of the West Indies, eastern Barbados, said on a Zoom phone call from her home in Vanstead, north of the capital, Bridgetown.

Prinz CharlesThe heir to the British throne will be present when Barbados celebrates the end of its official relationship with her 95-year-old mother. Queen Elizabeth from 15 other countries including Great Britain, Australia, Canada and Jamaica.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the decision belonged to the people of Barbados.

The show features music and dance. According to Charles’ office, the “last homage to the monarchy” would degrade the Queen’s rank and the fireworks would mark the mason’s inauguration.

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Charles is expected to deliver a speech in which he said that many relations between the two countries will remain intact, including the “many bonds between our two peoples”.

His presence may indicate the royal family’s desire to maintain a strong relationship with the island that will continue to exist. UK Parliament – 54 countries voluntary associations in many former British colonies and the Queen was the winner for life.

Prince Charles arrived in the country late on Sunday before becoming a republic in the Commonwealth. Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

But for Hinds, the symbol of Charles’ presence is “a little different”.

“This presents a problem for those who believe that the British monarchy has historically been as important to Barbados in a positive way as it has been at the expense of the country,” he said.

In the 17th century, the British demanded Barbados and it turned into a profitable colony with hundreds of thousands of slaves. Africa.

It became an important center for sugar production, which enriched the British slave owners.

“As a result of the desire to produce sugar, those with a sweet tooth are re-emerging in Britain – an organized white consumer lifestyle against the backdrop of black exploitation and slave labour,” said Christopher Brier, associate professor at Colonial and Beyond. Colonial history. at the University of Southampton in England.

Currently the island has a population of about 287,000 descendants of people who were brought from Africa as slaves to work on plantations.

“not personally”

Despite this story, Hinds said, there is a measure of respect for the monarchy in general and Britain in general, especially among the island’s elderly population.

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He added that many places in Barbados are named after the queen or her ancestors, and that the lion’s share of the country’s tourists are from England. The island is often referred to as “Little England”.

London first annexed the small island of the West Indies in 1625 when King James I claimed possession of an English ship.Joe Radley / Getty Images

However, many in Barbados welcomed their country’s move to sever ties with its former imperial rulers.

“For Barbados, this is not a personal issue against the Queen, it is about our national pride and our judgment,” Ren O’Holder Maclean Ramirez, 45, a lawyer and social counselor from the LGBTQ community, said in a phone call from his home in Bridgetown. . ”

“As we grow and develop as an independent country, it is neither necessary nor practical to have a foreign leader,” he said.

For Bridgetown attorney Ronnie Airwood, the positive sentiment for the move is heightened by the fact that the government has moved without consulting the public about the republic they want.

Barbados first adopted republican politics in the late 1970s and proposed a referendum on the issue in 2008 but it was postponed indefinitely.

It was decided to remove the Queen from the position of Head of State announce It’s in 2020, Airwood said, but with little advice on how to change.

“There’s a lot of frustration,” said Airwood, 42. “It was going to be a great moment for all of Barbados.”

NBC News has reached out to the PM’s office and Mason, but no interviews have been given.

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“Global Conversation”

Barbados’ decision to expel the Queen after a wave of protests around the world inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. Direct inventory of the British imperial past supported the attempt to dump the symbols of racism and colonialism from Cambridge into the Caribbean.

“This is a local expression of the global discourse about the legacy of the British Empire and its colonial exploitation,” Breyer said.

“The Barbados movement is another element of our colonial era.”

Could the stormy change on the coast of Barbados herald the beginning of a wave of empires that cut ties with the royal family?

“When the Queen finally dies, there will be more talk of Charles’ desire as head of state, especially in places like Australia,” Breyer said.

“I am not suggesting that there is an inevitability, but I do believe that the problem of the Republic is not going away any time soon.”