Prince Charles gives speech in Barbados at ceremony
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The Caribbean island of Barbados officially severed its ties with Britain and removed the Queen as its head of state in an official ceremony on Monday night. The monumental event, which took place 55 years after gaining independence from Britain, was attended by the Prince of Wales, 73, as well as Barbadian singer Rihanna, 33, who was honoured as a national hero.
However, while the ceremony was in full swing, the 73-year-old prince was seen nodding off.
The ceremony kicked off at 11.30 pm local time (3.30 am UK time), causing cameras to catch the future King dozing off during the monumental event.
Thankfully, the Prince jolted awake shortly after and gave a speech to the gathered crowds.
He said: “The creation of this republic offers a new beginning.
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“From the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.”
While Charles was the only royal in attendance on Monday night, he wasn’t the only one to send his wishes to the latest Commonwealth country to become a republic.
The Queen, 95, wrote to Dame Sandra Mason, the new president of Barbados, and stated the nation holds a special place in her heart.
The monarch penned: “I send you and all Barbadians my warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace, and prosperity in the future.”
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Ms Mason was sworn in as president and she took the oath of allegiance to her country.
Hundreds of people gathered in the centre of the capitol and saw as a 21-gun salute was fired while the national anthem was played.
She said in her inauguration speech: “Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage.
“Our country must dream big dreams and fight to realise them.”
However, Mason recognised the “complex, fractured and turbulent world” it would need to navigate now as a republic.
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