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Barbadians celebrate the birth of a republic and bid farewell to the Queen

Barbados cut its remaining ties with the British monarchy at midnight today after a 400-year long relationship. On Monday evening, Prince Charles spoke at a ceremony and acknowledged the atrocity of slavery as the nation officially removed Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state. Barbados inaugurated its first-ever President marked with official festivities celebrating the island’s historic transition. The celebration took place in National Heroes Square in Bridgetown. The Royal Standard flag was lowered from the flagpole and the new Presidential Standard replaced it.

Exactly 55 years ago, Barbados declared independence from Britain. The Queen’s own former representative, Governor-General Sandra Mason, was sworn in as President by the Chief Justice. Mason, a respected 73-year-old former jurist, gave a statement addressing Barbados’s transition from a realm to a republic. Mason then bestowed the country’s highest-ranking honor, the Order of Freedom, on the Prince of Wales. This move highlights that Barbados and the UK will maintain a close relationship despite removing official ties.

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