The island-country of Barbados has become the newest republic after Queen Elizabeth II was removed as the head of the state.
The Caribbean nation became a republic after nearly 400 years of British rule. The event was attended by Prince Charles.
Dame Sandra Prunella Mason will take over as the first President of the country. She was elected as the head of state last month.
Rise of Mason
Mason was the governor-general of the island since 2018. She has been a teacher and also worked in bank before joining judicial service.
Mason has served in various positions such as member of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) and also the first female president of the Tribunal.
History of Barbados
Barbados has been an English colony since the arrival of first British ship in 1625. It was set up as a slave-colony of the British Empire.
The country gained independence in 1966 but remained under the rule of British crown. It will continue to be one of the 54 Commonwealth nations.
The national anthem, national flag, national pledge, coat of arms etc will remain the same. However, the use of terms “royal” and “crown” would be dropped from all official references.
In future, the crown lands would become state lands. The Royal Barbados Police Force will become Barbados Police Force.
Transition to republic system
Barbados has been contemplating becoming a republic since many decades. A commission known as Cox Commission was set up to study feasibility in 1979.
Ending monarchy and becoming a republic was recommended by a constitutional committee in 1998.
Finally, the government decided to become a republic when Mason was elected as the President and first December was the selected date for transition.
It is a form of democratic governance in which the head of the state is elected and not nominated or monarch.