Barbados became at dawn today, Tuesday, the newest republic in the world, after declaring its liberation from the authority of the British Crown. The event took place in an official ceremony attended by the Crown Prince of the United Kingdom (UK), Prince Charles.
During the ceremony, the Governor-General of the Caribbean island, Sandra Mason, was sworn in as president of the fledgling republic, and the Queen's flag (known also as Union Jack), which represented the subordination of Barbados to the authority of Queen Elizabeth II and the British Crown, was lowered.
"I, Sandra Brunella Mason, swear to be loyal to Barbados and to be faithful to it, as required by law, may the Lord help me," Mason said during her swearing-in.
Barbados held its first presidential election in October, 13 months after declaring its constitutional separation from the British crown.
On the sixteenth of last September, Sandra Mason announced that her country intends to declare the republic as of 2021, and not to recognize after that Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State.
"It is time to put our colonial past behind us. The people want a head of state from among their children.
Mason added that Barbados will take the next logical step towards full sovereignty, and it will become a republic by then when we will celebrate the 55th anniversary of our independence.
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles situated in the Atlantic Ocean.
The island is located in the western region of the North Atlantic Ocean, 100 km east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. Barbados is about 168 km to the east of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and 400 km to the northeast of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados lies outside the major hurricane belt in the Atlantic Ocean.
Barbados gained independence from Britain in 1966, but Queen Elizabeth II is still the country's leader.