British Royal Family

Prince Charles lands in a nation he will never rule as Barbados officially becomes a republic

The nation is removing the Queen as its head of state.

By Maddison Leach
Prince Charles has touched down in Barbados as the island nation prepares to officially remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic.
The future King of England will attend a landmark ceremony where Dame Sandra Mason, 72, will become President as the nation transitions out of the British Commonwealth.
Mason is the nation's current governor-general and will take over as the head of state when Barbados formally removes the Queen in a ceremony on Monday night.
It's the first time a senior member of the royal family – let alone a future monarch – has attended such a ceremony.
Though several nations have transitioned from commonwealth realms into independent republics during Queen Elizabeth II's reign, news that Barbados would be dropping the Queen made headlines last year.
Formerly a British colony, the nation gained independence from Britain in 1966 and moved to become a republic on the 55th anniversary year of its independence.
"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 in a speech at the Barbadian parliament in September 2020.
"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."
Prince Charles is expected to emphasise the friendship between Britain and Barbados as he attends the official ceremony this week.
People reports that the future king will say in a speech: "As your constitutional status changes, it was important to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change.
"For example, the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as vital members of the Commonwealth; our common determination to defend the values we both cherish and to pursue the goals we share; and the myriad connections between the people of our countries – through which flow admiration and affection, co-operation and opportunity – strengthening and enriching us all."
Charles first visited Barbados almost 50 years ago, not long after the nation became independent from formal British rule.
Prince Charles holidaying in Barbados in the 1970s. (Getty)
Barbados is the latest in a string of Caribbean nations that have chosen to remove the Queen as their head of state.
Guyana became a republic in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago followed suit in 1976 and Dominica became a republic in 1978.
Here in Australia, there has been talk for years that the nation may one day vote to become a republic – potentially when the Queen dies and Charles becomes King.
The only way for Australia to become a republic would be for the nation to hold a referendum to change the constitution.

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