By Peter Weber The Week
Barbados became the world’s newest republic on Tuesday, swearing in its first president and dropping its formal allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Charles and Rihanna were among the dignitaries who attended the overnight ceremony in Bridgetown, the Caribbean nation’s capital, and fireworks lit up the sky and a steel drum orchestra played as the clock struck midnight and Barbados shed yet another layer of its colonial past.
Barbados became a republic on the 55th anniversary of its independence from Britain. It will remain part of the Commonwealth, but its head of state is now Sandra Mason, governor general since 2018; the Barbados parliament elected Mason president last month, and she will now help run the island nation with Prime Minister Mia Mottley.