Prince Charles has arrived in Barbados as the country’s guest of honour, as the Caribbean island prepares for the historic moment when they officially remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. This will be the first time a senior member of the royal family has attended this type of ceremony – and the milestone has reportedly not gone down well with the nation’s anti-monarchists.
Prince Charles would have inherited the role of head of state if the country had remained within the Commonwealth realm. But according to Town and Country magazine, after tonight’s ceremonies, Barbados will proceed with its plan to erase the Crown from all national life.
This includes: removing the word “royal” from national institutions and no longer requesting certain professionals to pledge allegiance to the monarchy.
It is also understood that Prince Charles will receive the prestigious Order of Freedom Independence Award at the independence ceremony.
And while Barbadians are encouraged to “truly celebrate the spirit of this historic time” and to honour this “major” step the country is taking, Barbados Today warned of the likelihood of a planned “peaceful” protest against Prince Charles’s visit.
In his interview with Barbados Today, General Secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration David Denny declared that the inclusion of Prince Charles was an “insult to the Barbadian people”, given the role of the British Monarchy in the proliferation of slavery and oppression in Barbados.
“You are either breaking with the monarchy or you are not breaking with the monarchy. And if you are breaking with the monarchy, then you cannot invite them to be part of that process,” Denny said.
His sentiments were shared by senior lecturer of Political Science at the University of the West Indies, Dr Kristina Hinds, who explains the invitation from Prime Minister Mottley is a “beggarly” gesture and the award, “highly inappropriate.”
“We are moving to become a republic and in so doing to break these colonial ties with the British Monarchy and I think it is extremely inappropriate to award a member of the same British family the Freedom of Barbados,” Dr Hinds told the publication.
However, in response to the criticism, Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cumming, tells The Telegraph the decision to extend an invitation to the Prince is about “diplomatic relations”.
“We are making a signal to the world that this transition we are making is without rancour, it is without angst, without acrimony and they are here to say ‘we support what you are doing and we are diplomatically recognising that,’” she said
Barbados decision to cut ties with the British monarchy has raised inevitable questions about the future path of the remaining 14 realms outside of the UK.