Barbados has now become the world’s newest republic and is inaugurating its first ever Barbadian president. Dame Sandra Mason was inaugurated as the first president of the Caribbean country, having been elected by a two-thirds majority vote in the Barbadian parliament.

Mason had previously served as governor-general of Barbados, representing the queen in the former Commonwealth realm. She is an attorney and judge who also served as ambassador to Venezuela, Colombia, Chile and Brazil. President Mason work hand-in-hand with Prime Minister Mia Mottley. She will be joining this list of women presidents around the world.

Madam Sandra Mason with Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Barbados removed Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state at midnight local time on Monday. The Royal Standard flag that represents the queen was lowered in the capital Bridgetown in a ceremony that coincides with the country’s 55th year of independence.

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Barbados is the first Caribbean country to abolish its monarchy since the 1970s, when Guyana, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago became republics.

Britain colonised the Caribbean country over 400 years. They displaced and abused the Taino and Carib indigenous peoples to set up a sugar colony. The colonists shipped over captured African slaves to work the island’s sugar cane fields, and nowadays the majority of Barbados’s population is of African descent.

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