Barbados plans festivities to mark its transition to parliamentary republic

Barbados, a former British colony, will remove Queen Elizabeth II as its sovereign head on Nov. 30, signaling its transition to a parliamentary republic and its break with Britain’s colonial bonds, centuries after an English ship claimed the island for King James I in 1625.

Britain’s Prince Charles arrived in Barbados on Nov. 28 to join the inauguration of President-elect Sandra Mason just after midnight on Nov. 30, the date which coincides with the 55th anniversary of Barbados Independence Day.

Mason, who was elected by Barbados’ parliament in October, is the current governor-general and until now the queen’s appointed representative to Barbados.

Prime Minster Mia Mottley will lead the Pride of Nationhood inauguration ceremony, which includes Barbadian music, dance, military parades, a mounted guard of honor and fireworks.

Barbados won independence from Britain in 1966 but retained Queen Elizabeth as the titular head of state. The Caribbean country will remain a republic within the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries across Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, including Jamaica, Australia and Canada.

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