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The first Barbadian president assured that her people will be able to make the most of their sovereignty with their country’s transition into a parliamentary republic.
On Tuesday, Governor Sandra Mason swore as the first Barbadian president and officially ended her country’s association with the British Crown, which had been ruling even though Barbadians gained their independence in 1966.
“Today, we set our compass in a new direction. Debate and discourse have finally turned into actions,” Mason stated, stressing that Barbadians will be able to make the most of their sovereignty's essence with their country’s transition into a parliamentary republic.
After a 21-shot salute, citizens and officials sang the national anthem and lowered the U.K. royal flag in the Heroes Square of Bridgetown. Upon witnessing the symbolic transition, British Prince Charles congratulated the Barbadian people.
"Since the appalling atrocity of slavery and the colonial past, these people forged their way with extraordinary strength. Emancipation, self-government, and independence were their points of reference. Freedom, justice, and self-determination have been their guides,” the prince sated.
Jamaican PM Andrew Holness has announced that Jamaica's Constitution - much of which is based on British law - will undergo a major review next year. This comes as Barbados is set to remove the Queen as its head of state in a matter of hours. pic.twitter.com/15BaEtlSZG
"Tonight, Barbadians write the next chapter in the history of their nation with the collective enterprise and personal courage that already fill their pages," he said, stressing that he will always be a friend of Barbados.
The celebration also included traditional dances, live music, and the distinction of national heroes representing the Barbadian culture, such as the singer and entrepreneur Rihanna.
"The time of 'little England' has passed. Now we are alone and on our way to our greatest success: breaking waters and moving on to another stage of our life," Rihanna stated.