Barbados Governor-General Sandra Mason announced in a speech Tuesday that the Caribbean country planned to take steps “toward full sovereignty and become a Republic” by its 55th anniversary of independence, which will take place Nov. 30, 2021. She called Barbados the “best governed Black society in the world” and expressed a desire for the country to be represented by its own people.
“Having attained 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 in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.”
Buckingham Palace said it is a matter for the government and people of Barbados. USA TODAY has reached out to Mason’s office for further comment.
There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth, including the U.K.; 16 are realms that recognize the queen as their monarch.
In 1992, Mauritius removed the queen as its constitutional monarch. Once Barbados departs, the remaining realms will be Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the U.K.