The Prince of Wales will highlight the shared goals and enduring bonds between Barbados and the UK during a ceremony marking the Caribbean country’s transformation into a republic.
Charles will also tell the nation that it is “important” for him to attend the event, which is being organized in the capital Bridgetown to “reaffirm things that are not major constitutional changes”.
The heir to the throne will deliver his address just after midnight as Barbados begins a new chapter in its history on 30 November – the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain – following the swearing-in of its first president, Dame Sandra Mason.
Barbados’ decision to remove the Queen as head of state will be closely watched by other members of the Commonwealth, especially in the Caribbean region.
During the ceremony at National Heroes Square, Charles is expected to say: “As your constitutional position changes, it was important for me to join you in affirming the things that do not change.”
He will give examples of relations that will remain – “the close and trusting partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as important members of the Commonwealth” and “our common determination to defend the values and goals of both of us”. We share”.
Charles is also expected to celebrate the cultural, social and economic bonds between the UK and Barbados, “the myriad ties between the peoples of our countries – through which admiration and affection, cooperation and opportunity flow – make us all stronger and stronger.” enrich”.
Barbados is following other Caribbean nations that have left the Queen as their head of state, with Guyana becoming a republic in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, and Dominica two years later.
Jamaica has also flagged in recent years that it wants an elected head of state, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness saying this is a priority for his government, but has yet to be achieved.
Charles is also expected to speak about reaffirming his friendship with the island since he first visited 50 years ago and admiring the invaluable contribution of the Barbadian diaspora to the UK.
During the ceremony, service personnel will march to the prince and pay a final salute to the monarch before lowering the queen’s status and raising the presidential flag.
Demonstrations are expected during the day, with some hawks demanding an apology and compensation from the monarchy and the UK government for slavery.
Charles will also receive the Independence of Barbados, awarded for exceptional service to the country, the Caribbean diaspora or humanity at large.
The Queen has been the head of state of Barbados since it became independent in 1966, but the issue of becoming a republic has been discussed nationally in the following decades.
Barbados is one of the Queen’s 16 territories – countries in which she is the head of state – and other countries in the Caribbean region include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. .