BY JORDI BOU
The Caribbean island nation of Barbados says it wants to remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state by next year, leaving only 15 countries worldwide with the British Queen as monarch.
Barbados hopes the plan to become a republic will help it to shed its colonial past.
The plan has been suggested several times in the past. This time it coincides with the Black Lives Matter movement sparked by several killings of Black people by police in the U.S.
The country is planning on becoming a republic by November 2021, to coincide with Barbados’ 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.
In addition to Barbados and the UK, Queen Elizabeth II currently serves as the Head of State of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
These countries are known as “Commonwealth Realms,” which are distinct from the broader 54-nation Commonwealth of nations that have some connection to Great Britain, but do not necessarily have the Queen as head of state.
Barbados announcement could pave the way for other Commonwealth Realm countries to renounce monarchy.