Dame Sandra Mason, the governor general, will be sworn in as president at midnight tonight replacing the Queen as head of state on the country’s 55th anniversary of independence
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Prince Charles will tonight pay tribute to the “close and trusted partnership” between the United Kingdom and Barbados, as the Caribbean island celebrates becoming a republic.
The Queen has reportedly expressed her “sadness” at the move, while the Prince of Wales, who arrived in Bridgetown last night, will have a “twinge of regret” at the ceremony to mark the cutting of ties with the monarchy after centuries of British rule.
Dame Sandra Mason, the governor general, will be sworn in as president at midnight tonight replacing the Queen as head of state on the country’s 55th anniversary of independence.
Prince Charles will give a speech in National Heroes Square to say the countries will stay close.
Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)
Charles will say: “It was important to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change.”
Barbados will become the fourth republic in the Caribbean to break free from the UK after Guyana, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago – and there are rumblings on other islands too.
The Queen is said to be wistful about the end of an era, but a source told The Sunday Times: “The Queen knows the world changes and moves on, Barbados is a symbol of that and she rolls with it.
“But there will be a tinge of reflection and sadness, as it is severing another link with the past.”
Charles has increased his visits to the region as republican movements have gained strength.
A source said: “He doesn’t see it as a rejection of him personally but there is perhaps a twinge of regret.”
Protestors in Barbados have threatened to hijack the handover to demand compensation for slavery.
Campaigner David Denny called the visit “an insult”: “The Royal Family benefited from slavery in Barbados.”