After 396 years, the sun has set on the British monarchy’s reign over the Caribbean island of Barbados, as it formally declared itself the world’s newest republic at the stroke of midnight.
The Caribbean island nation removed Queen Elizabeth II as head of state in a solemn ceremony Tuesday attended by her son Prince Charles and honoured singer, Rihanna as it National Hero.
President Sandra Mason was sworn in at a ceremony in the capital Bridgetown attended by Prince Charles and the singer Rihanna
As the clock struck 12, the Royal Standard flag representing the Queen was lowered over a crowded Heroes Square in Bridgetown and Carol Roberts-Reifer, chief executive officer of the National Cultural Foundation, made the declaration of Barbados’ transition to its new constitutional status.
Symbolising the historic handover, the Royal Standard flag representing the queen was lowered as the clock struck 12, after which the current governor-general, Dame Sandra Mason, was inaugurated as the first president of Barbados.
“I, Sandra Prunella Mason, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Barbados according to law, so help me God,” the new president said in taking the oath of office.
The new era for the nation of 285,000 ends Britain’s centuries of influence, including more than 200 years of slavery until 1834.
Singer, Rihanna, who was born on the Island was also honoured as a National Hero as she attends the presidential inauguration at Heroes Square, Bridgetown.
Credit: The Punch