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Prince Charles: UK will remain a friend of Barbados

Barry Alleyne

Prince Charles: UK will remain a friend of Barbados
Britain’s Prince Charles arrives in National Heroes Square for the republic ceremony. (Picture by Sandy Pitt)

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The Prince of Wales this morning urged Barbadians to continue to be firm craftsmen of their fate, as the country officially became a republic.

Prince Charles was speaking moments after Her Excellency The Most Honourable, Dame Sandra Mason, was installed as Barbados’ first local Head of State during a special installation ceremony at National Heroes Square.

He officially relinquished all powers of the royal family to the new president, reminding the country that he, and the United Kingdom remain friends of Barbados, and would continue to forge partnerships in the future.

“I’m deeply touched you have invited me to return to Barbados at this moment of significance for your remarkable country,” the Prince 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 you have not only travelled, but which you have built.”

He added that Barbadians had forged their paths with fortitude after the atrocities of slavery, and through emancipation and independence, with freedom, justice and self-determination being their guides.

“Your long journey has brought you to this moment, not as your destination, but as a vantage point from which to survey a new horizon,” he added.

The heir to the British throne, who arrived in the country Sunday night, said Barbados and the UK, as vital members of the Commonwealth, have the same determination to defend the values they cherish and to pursue shared goals.

“This is an occasion to reaffirm the friendship I have enjoyed with Barbados since I first visited the island over 50 years ago. Across the decades I have admired so much of what you have achieved and all that you have come to represent. I’ve heard your voice in the world grow louder, advocating with clarity, passion and authority, on issues of global significance. I’ve seen the power of the inimitable Bajan spirit, both at home and overseas,” His Royal Highness said.

“This is, and will remain such a special place for me,” he concluded. (BA)