Barbados elects its first head of state, replacing Queen Elizabeth

The country’s Parliament chose Sandra Mason, the governor general, to assume the symbolic title, a decisive move to distance itself from Barbados’s colonial past.

The island nation of Barbados has elected a female former jurist to become its next head of state, a symbolic position held since the 1950s by Queen Elizabeth II, as the country takes another step toward casting off its colonial past.

Sandra Mason, 72, the governor general of Barbados, became the country’s first president-elect on Wednesday when she received the necessary two-thirds majority vote in the Parliament’s House of Assembly and Senate. She will be sworn in on Nov. 30, making Barbados a republic on the 55th anniversary of its independence from Britain.

“We believe that the time has come for us to claim our full destiny,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said in a speech after the vote.

“It is a woman of the soil to whom this honor is being given,” she added.

Barbados, a parliamentary democracy of about 300,000 people that is the easternmost island in the Caribbean, announced in September that it would remove Elizabeth as its head of state. At the ceremony, Ms. Mason read from a speech prepared by Ms. Mottley that was explicit in its rejection of imperialism.

The speech highlighted the urgency of self-governance, quoting a warning by Errol Walton Barrow, the first prime minister of Barbados, against “loitering on colonial premises.”

“The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” Ms. Mason said. “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.”

In 2017 Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry forecast a rapid decline in Britain’s royal family. In his article “The Fall of the British Royal Family” he wrote “This has been a bad year for Britain and its royal family. And here is why it will get much worse—before it gets better than you can even imagine!” 

Read that article to understand the rapid decline Britain’s royal family has witnessed in recent years.