Prince Charles will attend ceremony of Barbados becoming a republic

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 05, 2021, 11:29 PM(IST)

Prince Charles Photograph:( Reuters )

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Barbados, a former British colony, became independent in 1966 but Queen Elizabeth is still head of state. She will cease to be head of state as the country becomes a republic. Prince Charles will attend the events

UK's Prince Charles will attend ceremonies in Barbados as the Caribbean island officially drops Queen Elizabeth a head of state and becomes a republic. Prince Charles' visit to Barbados was announced by his office on Friday.

Barbados became independent in 1966 but Queen Elizabeth remains head of state. She is represented by a governor-general.

On November 30 -- the 55th anniversary of independence -- Sandra Mason, the 72-year-old current governor-general of Barbados, will be sworn in as its first president.

Charles, 72, will be the guest of honour at the celebrations on the invitation of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, his personal office at Clarence House said.

It said the invitation reflected the fact that Charles will become the head of the Commonwealth when he becomes king. Barbados will remain within the 54-nation grouping.

The island, which has a population of just under 300,000, was claimed by the British in 1625. It has sometimes been called "Little England" for its loyalty to British customs.

It is relatively prosperous, and a popular tourist destination: before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than a million tourists visited its idyllic beaches and crystalline waters each year.

Mason announced in September 2020 that the country would break with Britain, saying "the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind".

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said this was "a matter for the government and people of Barbados".

Charles -- who has for several years represented his mother on overseas trips because of her age -- held a bilateral meeting with Mottley at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

(With inputs from agencies)

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