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World: Barbados becomes the world's newest republic

Barbados will spur others to ditch the Queen: experts

  Barbados will spur others to ditch the Queen: experts On a rainy night in Hong Kong in 1997, Prince Charles read a message from his mother Queen Elizabeth II, as Britain handed back sovereignty of the territory to China after more than 150 years of UK rule. However, it sends a clear message that in the twilight of the 95-year-old queen's reign, and when Charles, 73, succeeds, the British monarchy's global reach is diminished.On Monday, nearly a quarter of a century on, Charles will be present at another handover, when Barbados becomes the world's newest republic, with an elected president -- not the queen -- as head of state.

Barbados has officially removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and became a republic in an overnight ceremony in the capital of Bridgetown.

Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the island's first president shortly after midnight © Barbados Government Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the island's first president shortly after midnight

Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as president during a midnight event coinciding with the country's 55th anniversary of independence.

The Prince of Wales and Barbadian singer Rihanna attended the event.

In a speech, Prince Charles acknowledged the "appalling atrocity of slavery" the Caribbean island suffered.

To signify the official change of power, a final salute was made to the British monarchy and the Royal Standard flag was lowered and replaced.

After Barbados, the fear of a Domino effect for the British monarchy

 After Barbados, the fear of a Domino effect for the British monarchy © Randy Brooks The Premier of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley at the opening of the Golden Square Freedom Park of Bridgetown, Barbados, November 27, 2021 A trend that will inevitably continue "? After Barbados, who becomes on Tuesday a Republic, some experts expect to see other kingdoms follow the example of this Caribbean Island to overcome the British crown.

Speaking as the guest of honour at the event, Prince Charles reiterated the continuing ties between the two nations despite the constitutional status change.

He described the moment as a new beginning and said he would always consider himself "a friend to Barbados" before being awarded the prestigious Order of Freedom Independence award by the new president.

Barbados announced is plan to become a republic last year, but it will remain within the Commonwealth.

Dame Sandra Mason, 72, the island's governor-general since 2018, was named as president-elect of the nation following a vote in parliament last month. She now replaces the Queen as the head of state.

"Vessel Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage. May she weather all storms and land our country and citizens safely on the horizons and shores which are ahead of us," she said after being sworn in.

Prince Charles arrives in Barbados as Caribbean island prepares to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state

  Prince Charles arrives in Barbados as Caribbean island prepares to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state Prince Charles has arrived in Barbados as the Caribbean country officially transitions to a republic, removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. The changeover comes nearly 400 years since the first English ship arrived on the most easterly of the islands. The handover ceremony will take place on Monday evening local time, with thousands of people expected to watch the late-night event on TV, listen to it on the radio or see it in person at a popular square where the statue of a well-known British lord was removed last year amid the Black Lives Matter movement to eradicate symbols of oppression.

Leading national figures, including Prime Minister Mia Mottley, swore allegiance to Barbados in front of the new president at the ceremony, which lasted for several hours.

She later announced that pop star Rihanna would be named a national hero by President Mason. The artist and businesswoman, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was previously named an ambassador by her home country in 2018.

"May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation," Ms Mottley said, in reference to one of Rihanna's songs.

A 'seminal moment'

The country's prime minister has described the move to a republic as a "seminal moment" which will see Barbados fully leave its colonial past behind.

Prince Charles calls in lawyers over claims he made comment about skin colour of Harry and Meghan's son

  Prince Charles calls in lawyers over claims he made comment about skin colour of Harry and Meghan's son The Prince of Wales has reportedly called in his legal team after claims emerged it was he who made a comment about the skin colour of Prince Harry and Meghan's son. A spokesperson for Prince Charles has already dismissed the allegations as "fiction" after they were included in a new book, out today. Author Christopher Andersen writes in Brothers And Wives: Inside The Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan that a conversation took place on November 27, 2017, when Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle was announced.

It was one of England's first slave colonies. English settlers first occupied the island in 1627 and, under British control, it became a sugar plantation economy using enslaved people brought in from Africa.

Slavery was abolished in Barbados in 1834 and the country became fully independent in 1966.

In his speech on Tuesday, Prince Charles spoke of the "appalling atrocity of slavery" which he said "forever stains our history".

Before Barbados, the last nation to remove the Queen as head of state was Mauritius in 1992.

With a population of about 285,000 people, Barbados is one of the more populous and prosperous Caribbean islands.

Once heavily dependent on sugar exports, its economy has diversified but has been hit hard by Covid-19 hurting tourism and rising prices caused by supply chain disruptions.

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Home and Away's newest resident is Rose, played by Kirsty Marillier. Theatre fans may recognise Kirsty from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Melbourne. She also briefly appeared on Home and Away with a small appearance as Rhea in 2018. Car crashes, explosive fires, divorce: there are many varied ways characters leave the drama-filled town of Summer Bay. But the real excitement comes when new residents arrive, bringing fresh life and plotlines to Home and Away. The newest resident is Rose, played by Kirsty Marillier.

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