Barbados Becomes Republic; Removes Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State

Dame Sandra Mason became Barbados’ first President after the country declared its independence from the British Crown and became a republic.

The Royal Standard was lowered in Bridgetown at midnight after 396 years during a ceremony attended by Prince Charles, cricket great Sir Garfield Sobers, and R&B artist Rihanna.

Queen Elizabeth congratulated Barbados and gave a congratulatory message. 

“On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first President of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians,” said the Queen. 

The ceremony ended with Mason giving Prince Charles the Order of Freedom as a mark of transfer of power.

Before becoming President, Mason was the current governor-general of Barbados for three years and was a teacher, clerk, and then a lawyer. 


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