Barbados independence sparks fresh republican call from politician – ‘We can be next!’

Queen will ‘quietly accede to choice of Barbados’ says expert

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Australian Labour Party member Matt Thistlethwaite celebrated Barbados’ decisive to become a republic, urging his country to follow through. He wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations to Barbados ahead of officially becoming a republic.

“It’s great to see Barbados will still remain a part of the Commonwealth and that cutting ties with the British Monarchy has the support of the Royals.

“Australia can be next. We are a proud, confident nation and we should be able to express this with our own head of state.

“An Australian Republic is about celebrating our independence and our unique culture and identity.”

Australia has a strong history of republicanism with two of its major parties – the Greens and Labours – officially supporting an elected head of state. 

In 1999, the country held a referendum asking its voters whether they backed a republic.

The majority of those who cast a ballot, 54.87 percent, expressed their support for the monarchy with 45.13 percent in favour of ditching the Crown.

The republican movement appears to have gained new momentum over the past few years, as the Royal Family prepares for the coming of King Charles.

In March, the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) announced its plans to set out a model for a republic and spoke of its hopes for a new referendum to be called within a year of the end of the Queen’s reign. 

Australia is one of the 15 overseas realms which still recognise the Queen as their head of state.

In these nations, the monarch is represented by the Governor-General, who is appointed by Her Majesty after being chosen by the Prime Minister of each country.

From Tuesday, the Crown will count 14 overseas realms.

Barbados is to remove the Queen as its sovereign on November 30, the day also marking the 55th anniversary of the country’s independence from the UK. 

The momentous move will be witnessed in person by Prince Charles, who on Monday morning landed in Barbados for the last time as its Prince of Wales.

The future King is to deliver a speech at a ceremony taking place within hours, during which he will celebrate the “myriad connections” remaining between the UK and Barbados.

He is expected to say: “As your constitutional status changes, it was important to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change.

“For example, the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as vital members of the Commonwealth; our common determination to defend the values we both cherish and to pursue the goals we share; and the myriad connections between the people of our countries – through which flow admiration and affection, co-operation and opportunity – strengthening and enriching us all.” 

This royal visit is intended to mark an acknowledgement by the Crown of Barbados’ decision to replace the Queen.

Prince Charles, who last visited Barbados with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in March 2019, has previously witnessed other countries cutting ties with the UK.

In 1980, he travelled to Zimbabwe to mark the independence of Britain’s last African colony. 

Barbados announced its intention to become a republic in September 2020.

Buckingham Palace said at the time this decision was “a matter for the Government and people of Barbados”.

The new head of state of the Caribbean country will be Dame Sandra Mason – who has previously been appointed Governor-General in the country.   

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