- Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state next year.
- The island will become the first country to drop the British monarchy in nearly 30 years.
- The country's Governor-General, Sandra Mason, said it is time to leave its "colonial past behind."
For the first time in nearly 30 years, a country will drop the British monarchy. On Tuesday, Barbados' Governor-General, Sandra Mason, announced the island nation's plan to remove Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and proceed as a republic. (The last nation to do so was Mauritius in 1992.)
A little history lesson: The English colonized Barbados in 1627, and the island remained a colony until November 30, 1966 when they achieved independence. Though Barbados is an independent nation, it's still tied to the monarchy, and its institutions are based on systems in Great Britain.
"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," said Mason during her speech announcing this monumental news. Adding sentiments from Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Mason went on to state, "Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence."
The Queen remains the head of state for former colonies including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu among others.
"When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past. So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do. It's not going to be easy and in some cases it's not going to be comfortable but it needs to be done, because guess what: Everybody benefits."
As Mason declared, Barbados' plan is to become a republic by next November. You can watch her announcement here: