By: Tricia Desroches
After 55 years of getting its independence from the United Kingdom, Barbados became an official parliamentary republic. Barbados is an island country in the Caribbean and it was a British colony all the way until November 1996. Barbados peacefully gained its independence, unlike many other countries in history. The Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. is a big part of what inspired Barbados to cut ties with the queen.
The first president of Barbados was Dame Sandra Mason, she had worked in the Barbadian government before being president as a governor. The Barbadian singer, actress, fashion designer, and businesswoman Rihanna was named the national hero. She performed at the ceremony to start the new journey for the country. In Barbados, she is an ambassador for culture and youth. She also has her own day that people celebrate on February 22, named “Rihanna Day”.
Having the first president of the country be a woman can be very empowering to other women in the country. Additionally, Rihanna is already a role model for many people, and now that she was named the national hero that will make people want to admire her even more.
Charles, Prince of Wales also attended the ceremony as a representative for Britain, in which he made a speech at the ceremony and he really emphasized the fact that slavery is a very dark part of the history of Britain. He said, “ From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.”
Hopefully, Prince Charles attending the ceremony is a sign that Britain and Barbados will stay on good terms. Some people find it weird that Prince Charles attended the ceremony because Britain hasn’t really been the best to the Barbadians. Britain wants to leave all the bad things in the past and carry on with the good. They want to continue their strong bond with Barbados.
Many have said that there will be many more Caribbean countries that will follow Barbados´ lead. Many countries will want to cut ties with other countries in the near future, it will be a very popular trend and change the connections and independence of many countries. With luck, this will happen very soon.