Barbados officially & painlessly overthrew Queen Elizabeth as their head of state

Dame Sandra Mason

In recent years, Queen Elizabeth’s stranglehold on the “British empire” has decreased severely. QEII has always prioritized the Commonwealth more than any other British connection, and it was well-documented around the Brexit vote that the Queen was pro-Brexit because she believed that the UK should focus more on strengthening its ties to Commonwealth nations. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s exit, there was a lot of grumbling from commonwealth nations. Barbados announced in September 2020 that they were leaving the commonwealth, becoming a republic and overthrowing QEII as their head of state. Last week, everything became official, and Dame Sandra Mason became Barbados’ first elected president.

Barbados has its first-ever president elect. Dame Sandra Mason, 72, was elected when she won a two-thirds vote during a joint session of the Caribbean nation’s House of Assembly and Senate on Wednesday.

Mason, who is the current governor-general of Barbados, will be sworn in Nov. 30 on the 55th anniversary of Barbados’ independence from Britain. At that time, Mason will replace Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state in the nation’s process of becoming a republic, CNN reports.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the election of a president was a “seminal moment,” according to Sky News. “We have just elected from among us a woman who is uniquely and passionately Barbadian, does not pretend to be anything else [and] reflects the values of who we are.”

Mason has worked as a schoolteacher, a magistrate, the ambassador to Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and Brazil and she was the first female Court of Appeal judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados, according to her official bio. She served as registrar of the Supreme Court until 2005.

In 2018, she became governor-general, an executive position appointed by the Queen based on the prime minister’s recommendation.

“With such an outstanding career, Dame Sandra also takes an avid interest in reading, playing [S]crabble, watching cricket and travelling,” according to her bio. “However, her greatest achievement is being the mother of son Matthew, who is also an Attorney-at-Law.”

Barbados, a former British colony with a population of nearly 300,000, announced plans to become a republic last year. Its independence from Britain dates to 1966. The Queen remains head of state for 15 other sovereign countries that were previously under British rule, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The last country to replace her as its figurehead was Mauritius in 1992, 24 years after its independence. Barbados has been a favorite stop for royals through the years, with the Queen visiting the island multiple times since she first set foot on its soil in 1966, just as it was securing independence.

Mottley said of her country’s historic step away from Britain and the Queen, “We look forward to continuing the relationship with the British monarch.”

[From People]

This does have a similar vibe to the Sussexit, honestly. The vibe of “getting out while the getting is good.” People are starting to make post-monarchy plans both personally and nationally. While Barbados will likely do and say things to “retain historic ties to Britain,” this is a wonderful example of a country taking the initiative in a painless, bloodless way to seek true independence from Isla de Saltines. When will Australia? When will New Zealand? When will Kenya? When will Canada? And when will India?


Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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70 Responses to “Barbados officially & painlessly overthrew Queen Elizabeth as their head of state”

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  1. ooshpick says:

    Oh the joy! Canada next!

    • ME says:

      Agree !

    • Snazzy says:

      Here’s hoping!

    • Quincytoo says:

      Yes please

    • Charfromdarock says:

      God I wish.

      I don’t know if any of the current politician/parties would want to deal with the rigmarole of opening the Constitution though.

      • Oh-dear says:

        @Charfromdarock not with the current twats we have leading the prairie provinces – they would take it as an opportunity to dismantle our public systems further than they currently are and do away with equalization, and I say that as a resident of the biggest embarrassment out there right now.
        Trudeau is smart enough to leave the constitution alone to guard against their disruptions.

      • susan says:

        yah, that’s the problem. the Constitution will have to be rewritten. I would put my money on Quebexit before AB and SA would agree to anything that the other provinces would put forward.

      • Liz says:

        My recollection (likely flawed as an American) is that for Canada to replace the British Monarch as head of state would also involve renegotiating treaties with many (most/all?) of the First Nations. I can’t imagine any Canadian government official wanting to open those particular cans of worms.

      • mazziestar says:

        You’ll have to get all the provinces to agree on whether we want to open up the constitution. Good luck with getting them all to agree on that.

      • Nic919 says:

        It still amazes me to this day that the Charter and repatriation ever happened in 1982.

        I read a recent article saying that Canada has over 70 treaties with indigenous people that they need to consider whereas Australia didn’t have any. So at this point it looks like Australia will be able to do it much sooner.

        It can be done if there is the political will, but it will take someone with the chutzpah of Pierre Trudeau to put it out there and manage it. And no I don’t think his son will ever want to do it.

  2. Seraphina says:

    First, my eyes bugged out of my skull. Second, LET FREEDOM RING. Lastly, I hope this has a strong ripple effect.

    • meloroast says:

      Me too! My dad is from the Caribbean and I would be ELATED if that country also got rid of the monarchy so people can start to fully heal without the symbol of its colonizer all over the place.

    • OMG Y’all, can you IMAGINE how Riri is partying right now?!?!?!!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes!! Congratulations to all Barbadians across the world!!! Madame President Mason as well!!

  3. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    I suspect those countries will wait until after she passes, especially with recent news of something afoot with her health.

    • Steph says:

      Ehh, they might as well start now. It took about a year for Barbados to do it. I think she’ll have passed on by the time it goes through.

  4. Steph says:

    I don’t know what a Dame is but, Dame Mason looks incredible for her age. Does anyone now the financial effects this will have on Barbados and Britain?

    • Bettyrose says:

      Isn’t Dame the same as Sir? eg A title in recognition of life accomplishments? That’s one thing I think would be cool in the US. (Except for a colleague I have whose husband was knighted so she refers to herself as “lady” and is a real headache in general. Predictably her husband who has the actual accomplishments is a nice guy).

      • Courtney B says:

        I wonder if she can keep it. She received it as a member of the commonwealth but maybe it’ll just be honorary now ala ones given to an American , etc. Or will it be grandfathered?

      • notasugarhere says:

        Barbados remains a member of the Commonwealth, an economic and trade union. There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth; only 15 have the UK monarch as their head of state. You can become a republic and remain in the Commonwealth.

    • BW says:

      Dame is the title given to a woman who is knighted by the Queen. Similar to Sir so-and-so. A Sir’s wife is titled Lady, but a woman who is knighted herself is a Dame.

  5. Emma says:

    Congratulations to Barbados and the new Madam President!

  6. Merricat says:

    I’m hoping for the snowball effect.

  7. OriginalLala says:

    Congrats Barbados!! Canada next! (seriously, it’s time)

  8. Eurydice says:

    Congratulations to Barbados and Dame Sandra Mason! And that’s a spectacular hat!!

  9. Purplepeas says:

    Good for Barbados, but erm, just FYI, Kenya is a member of the commonwealth, but the queen is not head of state. We have a president and have been a republic since like 1964

    • blackfemmebot says:

      Commenting from South Africa here, we’re also part of the Commonwealth (after leaving/being expelled during the Apartheid years and then coming back) but are a republic and have a president.

    • Zut Alors says:

      Hey fellow Kenyan! Habari gani?

      • Booboochile says:

        Howzit my peeps!

      • Misskitten says:

        I’m not Kenyan but I lived in Nairobi for 3 years as a child due to my fathers job. (I went to ISK) As a child I lived in many countries in many continents but Kenya has always been my #1 favorite. Kenyans are some of the warmest people in the world 😍😍😍 I STILL dream about bajias and nyama choma with kachumbari, and mandazis. I’ve TRIED to make the dishes myself here in the US but they just don’t taste the same…..

      • So says:

        @misskitten am glad you had a good experience in our country

    • murt says:

      Same w India……. Queen was never head of state post independence.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Thank you for adding this. So many posters on here don’t understand how the Commonwealth works.

      • Lou says:

        Yeah, I have no idea why Kenya and India are mentioned, they’ve been independent for decades.

        The Commonwealth is an alliance. Some, like Canada, Aussie and NZ, have the Queen as head of state, but plenty of others don’t.

  10. GraceB says:

    It’s brilliant news for Barbados and also interesting that there was so little resistance from their previous head of state. Almost like they didn’t care. Sometimes I wonder whether they would actually prefer it this way because it’s less work. Slim down the monarchy, but also slim down the commonwealth.

    • Denise says:

      I think you may be on to something here. I don’t live in a commonwealth country but that’s how it looks from the outside. I’d be interested to know if any overture was made to Barbados before it became official.

    • Lou says:

      Barbados are still in the Commonwealth – it’s not just countries with the Queen as head of state.

  11. MarJo says:

    Nest stop: Australia!

    • Cathy says:


    • Roslyn says:

      Yes, please! I want an Australian as my head of state. It will be interesting to see whether there will be any resistance from Mother England. I have a feeling that Charles has been expecting it and actually wonders why we didn’t become a republic years ago. Yay for Barbados!

  12. Amy Bee says:

    Barbados hasn’t left the commonwealth, they’ve just got rid of the Queen as its Head of State which is a significant step in its history. Barbados was always seen as fiercely loyal to the monarch and the UK. At one point it was called Little England but there are a lot less connections with the UK now and having a foreign person as its Head of State just doesn’t jibe with Barbados’ vision of a truly independent nation. So Barbados is still a member of the Commonwealth which basically a group of former British colonies, Republics and those who still have the Queen as the Head of State. I think when the Queen dies a lot more of 15 remaining realms will chose to become Republics.

  13. janet says:

    Kenya is in the commonwealth, but the Queen is not the head of state. Kenyan has been a republic since December 1963, and has had Presidents since then. Good for Barbados!

  14. Sofia says:

    India is part of the Commonwealth but HM isn’t Head of State there. I know you’re talking about the CW only but wanted to clarify this in case anyone gets confused.

    But I’m happy for the people of Barbados. Here’s to a happy and fruitful republic future.

  15. jo73c says:

    Congrats to the Barbadian parliament for doing something that both the USA and UK have repeatedly failed at – selecting someone that seems like they are actually qualified to do a good job of running the country. Go Dame Sandra!

    • Mac says:

      Biden is more than qualified to run the country. It’s tw@ts like Manchin and Sinema who are the problem,

      • Betsy says:

        Also problematic in this country: the GOP who refuses to do anything for the benefit of average citizens.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes, Biden is very well qualified. As for the closeted Repugnant of Manchineel and Sinema 🤬. The fact that they both hold the Build Back bill hostage, IF their only TWO states matter. I am so sick of some members of Congress with their sole agenda is to BLOCK the agenda to move the country forward for the best of everyone unacceptable!! I’m looking at you Moscow Mitch! Selfish narcissistic MF!!

      • Tangerinetree says:

        @BothSidesNow: 100%!!!

  16. Name keeps changing cos I delete my cookies says:

    Congratulations, Barbados!

    Also, Kaiser, you can be part of the Commonwealth of Nations without having the Queen as Head of State. Thus, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and all former British colonies in Africa are self-governing and are part of CW for economic and diplomatic reasons (I’d say it’s one of the more low-profile internation groups, nothing like regional blocs and UN). From CW website, the Queen is Head of State of “Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, The Bahamas and Tuvalu. Such countries are known more traditionally as Commonwealth realms.” The site still lists Barbados.

    Actually, you can join the Commonwealth of Nations even if you weren’t a British colony. Goes without saying that when countries join it’s for the economic links with other CW nations, not for the BRF.

  17. Coco says:

    As a Bajans I couldn’t be happier about this news and I hope for good things to come.

    • Moneypenny424 says:

      Congratulations! If she were alive today, my Bajan mother would be so happy and proud. Excited for you and all my relatives <3

  18. Jay says:

    For the last two federal elections here in Canada, there have been specific questions in the polling about how voters feel about the monarchy – should we cut ties completely or keep the status quo? I can’t remember the wording exactly on the survey I responded to, but it’s interesting that somebody is gaging attitudes towards the monarchy.

  19. Misskitten says:

    I can’t say for sure that this is true, but I’ve heard that the most-celebrated holiday in the world is independence from Britian!!! And that every 6 days, some country, somewhere, is celebrating it(!!!!!!)
    Also, hooray for Barbados!!!!🍾🍾🍾🍾🥳🥳🥳🥳 May many more Commonwealth countries follow!

  20. CoffeChamp says:

    Good for Barbados!

  21. Sminty says:

    Barbados can still be part of the Commonwealth and also not have the Queen as its head of state. Other countries do, eg Kenya, South Africa. The Commonwealth is an association of countries that at one time were colonized by Britain and were part of the British Empire. It is entirely voluntary to take part, and mostly ceremonial. Frankly, the most important thing that happens for being part of the Commonwealth is taking part in the Commonwealth Games. This is one of the big athletic competitions like the PanAm Games leading up to the Olympics. I am Canadian. Canada is part of the Commonwealth, and does have the Queen as head of state. This is an entirely ceremonial role. All the political power is vested in our elected House of Commons and the elected Prime Minister.

  22. EveBijoux says:

    Kenya is already a republic , we are just a member of the commonwealth.

  23. mazziestar says:

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but they aren’t leaving the Commonwealth? Because you can be a republic and in the Commonwealth. See Trinidad and Tobago which got rid of the Queen in 1962. Kaiser, this might be something to edit in your post.

  24. Nlopez says:

    Good for Barbados! Felicidades!

  25. evie says:

    Good for Barbados! Unite IRELAND!!!!

  26. duchess of hazard says:

    Jamaica has been threatening to do this for some time. Let it be soon, Jamdown.

  27. Keri says:

    Yeah, we kenyans are really wasting time on this one. People here are savage-hilarious online and outrage gets things done. Someone needs to start a petition. I am not sure liz will see 2022

  28. Agreatreckoning says:

    Congratulations Barbados! Dame Sandra is a beautiful 72. Looks much younger.

  29. Slippers4 life says:

    Way to go Barbados! Come on Canada, let’s open the constitution and get it done. Renegotiating treaties with Indigenous people’s is something that most certainly needs to happen anyway, so let’s get to work and get the monarchy the eff out before Charles and Baldemort come in.

  30. Lex says:

    There’s a really bizarre segment of Australians obsessed with royalty…
    The number of articles on news websites we get (which are toxically critical of H&M while nauseatingly praiseful of W&C/C&C) is getting out of hand. When they come here, people line the streets cheering & crying. It’s so so weird. It’s a tiny but very vocal minority.

  31. Melly says:

    Big up to my Bajan brethren! Please Lord Grenada and Jamaica next!

  32. MMadison says:

    But…But…Naomi Campbell