A number of Canadian Members of Parliament broke into song in the House of Commons chamber this week as MPs congratulated Barbados on transferring from Realm to Republic.
Conservative MPs in Canada sang the British National Anthem, God Save The Queen, while legislators were voting on a motion to congratulate Barbados on the election of their new President who has replaced The Queen as head of state.
— Luke Cowan (@wanukeishere) December 1, 2021
The Speaker reminded MPs that singing was not permitted in the chamber.
Barbados has discussed becoming a republic for decades. In the summer of 2020, the Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, announced plans for the country to become a republic. In the early autumn of 2021, its parliament passed the necessary bills and on October 12th 2021, the country’s Governor General, Sandra Mason, was formally nominated as President.
On November 30th, the official handover of power took place at a ceremony in Bridgetown as midnight struck. The Royal Standard was lowered and the formal declaration of the transition to a republic took place. The Prince of Wales, as future Head of the Commonwealth, was invited to attend by the government of Barbados.
In his speech at the ceremony, the Prince spoke of new beginnings and acknowledged the wrongs of the past, saying ‘From the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.”
Charles watched as Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as President.
Soon afterwards, President Mason said in her inaugural speech ”Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage….our country must dream big dreams and fight to realise them.”
Additional reporting by Lydia Starbuck