A long-running pandemic curfew was suspended to allow Barbadians to enjoy the festivities, including projections at various points across the country and large fireworks displays timed to mark the historic transition at midnight local time (3pm AEDT).
Source: PA Wire
The Pride of Nationhood ceremony itself was closed to the wider public but Barbados’ most famous citizen, the singer Rihanna, was present alongside the Prince of Wales and other officials for the event, which included military parades, a mounted guard of honour and gun salutes.
Anastasia Smith, a 61-year-old nurse, told AFP the move to become a republic was a “proud moment for Barbados”.
She added: “I remember in the old days we would be really excited about the Queen and Prince Charles and Princess Diana and royal weddings.
“But I don’t know if we ever quite saw them as our royal family. Now, everybody is talking about a republic.
“I’m not sure that anything about my life is going to change. But I think we’re doing the right thing and it’s a proud moment for Barbados.”
Source: PA Wire
The country, famous for its idyllic beaches and love of cricket, gained independence from Britain in 1966.
In October, it elected Dame Sandra its first president, one year after Prime Minister Mia Mottley declared the country would “fully” leave behind its colonial past.
Speaking last week, Ms Mottley said: “The symbolism of being able to aspire to become head of state is so powerful.
“Our president-elect, who will be sworn in on Monday night … is the person who will bring immense pride to every Barbadian boy and girl.”
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