Castries, Nov 30 (EFE).- Barbados replaced Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday as its head of state with the appointment of jurist Sandra Mason as the first president of the country, which went from constitutional monarchy to republic.
The country becoming a republic coincided with the 55th anniversary of the independence of the Caribbean island, which was a British colony until 1966 and which until now remained linked to the Crown.
Mason was sworn in with the firing of 21 gunshots the nation of some 280,000 inhabitants underlined its sovereignty.
Mason, the first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeal and until now governor-general of the island, was elected president on Oct.20.
In her address at the National Heroes’ Square in Bridgetown, the president said the island now looks in a new direction based on the successes, triumph and achievements of the last 55 years as an independent country.
Mason, who was awarded the Order of Freedom of Barbados, also pledged to move forward with confidence and courage for the good of the nation and present and future generations.
The ceremony was attended by Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and leaders from several Caribbean countries, as well as prominent former cricket player Garry Sobers and the famous singer Rihanna, both from Barbados.
Barbados thus becomes the fourth country in the Caribbean Community to replace Queen Elizabeth II with a president, following in the footsteps of Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Dominica. EFE