Prince Charles arrives as Barbados becomes republic

·2-min read
Prince Charles arrives as Barbados becomes republic

Prince Charles has touched down in Barbados as the country prepares to break with the crown after nearly 400 years.

The island is set to become a republic at midnight local time (4am uk time Tuesday) with the Queen removed as their head of state.

At the ceremony being staged in the capital Bridgetown, Charles will tell the Caribbean nation it is “important” for him to attend the event to “reaffirm those things which do not change”. He will highlight the shared goals and values between Barbados and the UK as the major constitutional shift takes place.

Prince Charles greeted by Dame Sandra Mason as he arrives at Bridgetown Airport (Getty Images)
Prince Charles greeted by Dame Sandra Mason as he arrives at Bridgetown Airport (Getty Images)

As he disembarked the RAF Voyager at Grantley Adams airport on Monday, he was greeted with a 21-gun salute. Barbadian prime minister Mia Mottley, president-elect Dame Sandra Mason and military chiefs lined a red carpet and were introduced to the Duke of Cornwall.

Charles will be guest of honour at the inauguration ceremony of Dame Sandra this evening at Heroes Square. He will watch on as the former British colony, an independent realm for the last 55 years, breaks its last remaining imperial bond with Britain.

The Queen is greeted by the public during a walkabout in Barbados on November 01, 1977 (Getty Images)
The Queen is greeted by the public during a walkabout in Barbados on November 01, 1977 (Getty Images)

At the ceremony, the prince will say: “As your constitutional status changes, it was important to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change. For example; the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as vital members of the Commonwealth; our common determination to defend the values we both cherish and to pursue the goals we share; and the myriad connections between the people of our countries... strengthening and enriching us all.”

At the ceremony, there will be a march past, a final salute to the monarchy, and a short video played on Barbados’s history. The Royal Standard will be lowered and Dame Sandra will then be officially sworn in as the first president of Barbados before the Presidential Standard is raised. The move by Barbados, which will remain a part of the Commonwealth, may herald wider efforts by other former colonies to sever ties with the monarchy as they prepare for the end of Queen Elizabeth’s near 70-year reign.

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