Speaking at the opening of parliament on Wednesday, Barbados’ governor general Sandra Mason said the time had come to leave its colonial past behind, People reported.
“Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving,” Sandra said.
“Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence.”
The Caribbean island, which has been under ruling since 1625, became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as its queen in 1966.
If given the green light, the nation will become a republic in November 2021, but remain a member of the Commonwealth, of which there are 54 countries that were mostly former British territories.
Barbados’ shock revelation comes after several other countries said goodbye to Her Majesty as their head of state in the years after they gained independence, with Mauritius the last to do so in 1992.
Other former British territories to say sayonara to the Queen include Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica, who paved the way back in the 1970s.
Despite the shock call for change, Barbados has reportedly long been a favourite destination for the royals, with Her Majesty first setting foot there back in 1966.
What’s more, Prince Harry reiterated the Queen’s sentiment during his 2016 visit to the nation, in which he and Barbados native Rhianna underwent an HIV finger prick test.
“The people of Barbados have held a special place in her heart ever since,” Harry said, referring to the first time Her Majesty visited the Caribbean island.
More recently, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles visited the nation in 2019 and were greeted with an overwhelming show of love from the people.