By: Elliott Garske
Barbados recently became a republic this Tuesday, November 30th after 2 decades since they elected their first president, and almost 60 years since gaining independence from England.
The movement to become a Republic came into its own after multiple instances of the country distancing itself of its colonial roots, such as in 2005 when they stopped the use of the Privy Council and instead used their own Caribbean Court of Justice based in Trinidad. A more recent example would be the removal of a statue depicting Horatio Nelson during last year’s worldwide civil rights movement.
The country hosted a ceremony of which many leaders and celebrities attended, among them being Rihanna and Prince Charles. At the ceremony Rihanna received the honor of being a national hero by the Prime Minister. The ceremony took place at Heroes Square (formerly Trafalgar Square), there were fireworks and monitors set up throughout the country so citizens could watch.
While Barbados no longer pledges allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, they are still a part of the Commonwealth Realm and will also no longer use the terms “royal” and “crown” so that the Royal Barbados Police Force will now be named the Barbados Police Force, and Crown Lands are now referred to as State Lands.