Barbados broke the last of its nearly 400-year-old ties with the British monarchy and is officially a republic. The Caribbean nation removed nonagenarian Queen Elizabeth II and inaugurated their first ever President as a new republic last night. 73 year old Governor-General Sandra Mason, former jurist and Queen Elizabeth’s own former representative, will now lead the country. Barbados declared independence from Britain 55 years ago, but the Queen remained as head of state for the next five decades. Prince Charles was in Barbados for the historic ceremony and spoke of the atrocities of the transatlantic slave trade that led the British to colonize parts of the region. As Barbados enters a new governance, it intends to remain part of the Commonwealth — a 54-member group of mostly former British territories designed to foster international cooperation and trade.
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