Barbados has officially become a republic. The Caribbean island said goodbye to the British Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
Instead, Dame Sandra Mason becomes the island nation’s first president.
British Crown Prince Charles attended Mason’s inauguration in the capital Bridgetown, which took place at midnight on Barbados’ Independence Day.
As a republic, the island remains part of the British Commonwealth.
Queen Elizabeth has always taken the position that the different countries themselves determine which form of government they want.
In addition to the United Kingdom, Elizabeth is also Queen of Australia, Canada and New Zealand and a whole host of former British colonies in the Caribbean.