In November 2021 Barbados will become a Republic, severing its colonial ties with the British monarchy. The first president of the new Republic of Barbados will be 72 year old Sandra Mason. This comes after Parliament unanimously approved a constitutional reform to turn the country into a republic and end its association with the British Crown.
Dame Sandra Prunella Mason, GCMG, DA, QC is currently the Governor-General of Barbados. She was a practising Attorney-at-Law who has served as a High Court judge in Saint Lucia and a Court of Appeal judge in Barbados. She was the first woman admitted to the Bar in Barbados.
Though few states have actually made that change, various constitutional reform commissions – for example the St. Lucia Constitutional Reform Commission in 2011, and the St. Vincent and Grenadines Constitutional Review Commission in 2006 – have recommended the adoption of parliamentary republics. In the case of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, further developments were forestalled after the public rejected a proposed constitutional amendment.
Barbados will become a republic, remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state by November 2021 when nation marks 55th anniversary of independence, pic.twitter.com/04r25Ofn9h
— African (@ali_naka) October 5, 2021
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced, in May 2021, the establishment of a Republican Status Transition Advisory Committee (RSTAC) with the mandate to plan and manage the transition of Barbados from a constitutional monarchy to a republic by 30 November 2021.
In defending the government’s position on the development, the Prime Minister stated that, “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state” and that, “This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th anniversary of independence.”
Further, the Prime Minister announced that, immediately after the transition, Barbados would embark on the process of drafting a new constitution under the leadership of the Attorney General.