The ceremony will not be of the same magnitude as the one held in Hong Kong, which featured military marching bands and bagpipes as the backdrop to a historic event dubbed “the epilogue of empire.”
However, the Caribbean island’s decision to renounce constitutional monarchy is momentous not just for the monarch and her successor, but also for the new republic — and others that may follow.
The proclamation, according to Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, was a “logical evolution” of a tendency that began shortly after the queen assumed the throne in 1952.
“I think inevitably it’s one that will continue, not necessarily in this current reign but in the next — and probably accelerate,” he told AFP.
Royal authorities have been tight-lipped about the end of nearly four centuries of British sovereignty and influence in Barbados, a crucial slave-trading hub.
Independence movements swept Britain’s former colonies when Elizabeth assumed the throne in 1952, shattering links to the crown that had been bonded through commerce and deadly conquest.
Between 1983 and 1987, however, Elizabeth reigned over an incredible 18 nations.
Following in the footsteps of Caribbean states Dominica, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago in the 1970s, Fiji (1987) and Mauritius (1992) became republics.
Professor Hilary Beckles, a Barbadian historian, described Monday’s ceremony, which took place on the eve of Barbados’ 55th independence anniversary, “an historic occasion” with far-reaching implications.
It means liberation from the “tyranny of imperial and colonial power,” as well as the “brutal legacy” of slavery and genocidal persecution for Barbados, the Caribbean, and other post-colonial communities, he declared this week.
Barbados, which has a population of little under 300,000 people, might set off a domino effect in the queen’s 14 other Commonwealth territories outside of the United Kingdom by doing so now.
The queen has long been the most popular monarch in the United Kingdom and worldwide, and she is seen as both a symbol of the country’s postwar recovery and the last living link to its imperial history.
Experts anticipate that when the succession occurs, with the more contentious Charles missing that background, the republican question will be raised with greater vigour in Commonwealth countries — and potentially even in the United Kingdom.
According to Little, the campaign for an elected head of state was most likely led by Australia and, to a lesser extent, Canada. The subject was last voted on by Australians in November 1999, but the proposition failed to pass.
“As your constitutional standing changes, it was imperative to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change,” Charles is slated to remark during the ceremony in National Heroes Square.
He’ll go on to say things like “the close and trusted connection between Barbados and the United Kingdom as essential Commonwealth members” and “our shared desire to protect the ideals we both cherish and pursue the goals we share.”
Charles is also scheduled to highlight the UK-Barbados cultural, social, and economic ties, praising “the countless linkages between the people of our nations – through which flow admiration and affection, cooperation and opportunity, strengthening and enriching us all.”