Prince Charles acknowledged “the appalling atrocity of slavery” in his speech during a ceremony marking Barbados’s transition to a republic.
Charles said: "The creation of this republic offers a new beginning, but it also marks a point on a continuum – a milestone on the long road that you not only have travelled, but which you have built.
“From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.”
Charles said he would always consider himself to be a “friend of Barbados” and that the “close and trusted partnership” between Britain and the island nation would continue. He was then presented with the Order of Freedom by the newly appointed president, Dame Sandra Mason.
Singer Rihanna was also in attendance, and was declared a national hero. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said the artist has been “commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence – with her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth.”
The Government of Barbados announced in September 2020 that it intended to no longer be a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II will no longer be head of state, but the country will remain a member of the Commonwealth. Credit: Mia Amor Mottley via Storyful