- Rachel Burchfield
This Just In: Her Majesty to be removed as Head of State in Barbados next year
First up, so I don’t have to regurgitate details about the Commonwealth for those that have already read it, take a look at this post about it before reading the rest of this blog (scroll down a little bit).
Yesterday, Barbados’ governor-general Dame Sandra Mason read a speech at the opening of the nation’s parliament that was written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley that said, in part, “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. 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” – which will be in November 2021.
Barbados gained independence from the British empire in 1966, but the Queen has remained its constitutional monarch ever since – as is the case for many other Caribbean countries.
Her Majesty remains Head of State not only in the U.K. but also in 15 other countries. (For example, when I visited the Bahamas in 2015, her photo was plastered everywhere, as she is their Head of State, too.) The Queen also remains Head of the Commonwealth, which as you read above (or already knew) is a voluntary association of nations that mostly once made up the British empire. It’s worth noting that even though the Queen will not be Head of State in Barbados anymore, the country is remaining a part of the Commonwealth.
The last time a country dropped the Queen as Head of State was nearly 30 years ago, when Mauritius did so in 1992 – the Queen’s “annus horribilis.” (Read this post to see what I mean.)
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the matter.
I am a little on edge that this move by Barbados will spur other nations to do the same – Jamaica will likely be next, as the nation was having discussions about this as recently as 2016. Will the monarchy suffer because of this? Is this a forecaster of some seeing the monarchy as irrelevant? Only time will tell.