The island nation of Barbados revealed plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and forge ahead as a republic.
Barbados Governor-General Sandra Mason announced the move in a Tuesday speech written by the country’s prime minister, Mia Mottley. Mason said that Barbados would strive to become a republic before the country marks its 55th independence anniversary in November 2021.
“Having obtained independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance. The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” Mason said.
“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence of who we are and what we are capable of achieving,” she added.
A source at Buckingham Palace told the BBC that push for sovereignty “was not out of the blue” and “has been mooted and publicly talked about many times.”
Barbados first gained independence from Britain in 1966. Other Caribbean nations that have become republics since becoming independent from Britain include Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Dominica, which all did so during the 1970s.
The queen is still head of state in a number of countries, including Australia and Canada. The last country to remove the queen from that role was Mauritius in 1992.