The Caribbean island of Barbados became a republic

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The Caribbean island of of more than 300,000 people, on Tuesday, became republic removing Queen Elizabeth II as head of the state. The former British colony once was nicknamed “Little England”. It was seized by British in 1627 and became independent in 1961. Last year, announced plans to stop being a constitutional monarchy and removed a statue of British Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson from National Heroes Square. elected a woman, Sandra Mason, 72, an attorney and judge, who was previously the governor, as its first president. However, the country remains a part of the Commonwealth (which is a group of 54 independent nations, almost all of whom were once part of the British Empire, that work together to improve “development, democracy and peace.”) It is headed by the Queen. “On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first president of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians,” The Queen Elizabeth II wrote in a letter to Mason on Tuesday. “As you celebrate this momentous day, I send you and all Barbadians my warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future,” her Majesty added. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement Monday that Britain and Barbados would remain friends and allies.

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The most high-profile guest at the ceremony was Prince Charles, who arrived Sunday in Barbados. The Prince of Wales was greeted with a 21-gun salute and is scheduled to speak ahead of the president-elect. Barbados is closely associated with the Caribbean and is ranked as one of its leading tourist destinations.