As it stands, the island country of Barbados is a “Commonwealth realm” of England. Once known as “Little England,” Barbados is one of 16 nations that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations which all share Queen Elizabeth II as their reigning constitutional monarch, or head of state. However, according to the Globe And Mail, those days may be numbered. The Bajan people are reportedly looking to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state and replace the British ruler with a president from the island.
This news comes as part of Barbados’ plans for the future. It was announced by Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that the island is looking to become a republic by November 2016, a declaration that will coincide with the 50th anniversary of its independence. “It’s a little awkward in the year 2015 to still have to stand up and instead of pledging allegiance to Barbados, to be pledging allegiance to ‘Her Majesty the Queen,'” said Stuart in a Sunday meeting .
This decision comes after generational debates. The older generations see the Queen as a symbol of stability, while the younger generations see her position in their nation as archaic. In Barbados and other similar nations, the Queen is still perceived as a representative of slavery, by many. Barbados was settled in 1605 by the British, who imported African slaves.
However, whatever the Bajan population decides, they will still be in the Commonwealth:
Barbados needs a two-thirds majority in Parliament to authorize the constitutional change. Stuart’s government currently has that majority in the Senate, but not in the lower house. Opposition leader Mia Mottley did not immediately comment on Stuart’s plans.
Maybe that’s why Buckingham Palace isn’t bucking the decision. Globe and Mail reports:
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said Monday that “it is a matter for the government and people of Barbados.” British Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman said he expected the approach in Barbados to be “consistent with self-determination.”