At midnight tonight, under floodlights and a balmy Caribbean sky, the Prince of Wales will be guest of honour as one of the world’s smaller democracies formally severs its connections with the Crown and proclaims itself the republic of Barbados.
As of tomorrow morning, soldiers, police officers, judges, civil servants and all the other apparatus of state in what many regard as the ‘most British’ of the Caribbean nations (some still call it ‘Little England’) will no longer owe allegiance to the Queen.
They will, instead, be answerable to Dame Sandra Mason, a highly-respected 72-year-old judge who becomes the country’s first president.
The average Barbadian will be hard-pushed to notice any difference — for the time being, at any rate. There will be no change to the currency (the Monarch came off the bank notes years ago) and the post boxes will remain the same shade of red.
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