Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday extended congratulations to Barbados as it celebrated its 55th anniversary of Independence as the world’s newest republic.
At midnight Monday, Barbados ended 400 years of links with Britain and inaugurated its first President Dame Sandra Mason.
In her message, Queen Elizabeth said “On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first President of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians.”
The Queen added that she was pleased that her son Prince Charles, who was awarded the Order of Barbados, at last evening’s historic celebrations was present for the transition.
She said: “I first visited your beautiful country on the eve of Independence in early 1966, and I am very pleased that my son is with you today. Since then, the people of Barbados have held a special place in my heart; it is a country rightfully proud of its vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty, that attracts visitors from all over the world, including many people from the United Kingdom.”
Queen Elizabeth expressed hope that the two countries would continue to maintain close ties.
“Over the years, our countries have enjoyed a partnership based on common values, shared prosperity, and close collaboration on a wide range of issues, including recent work on climate change. It is also a source of great satisfaction that Barbados remains an active participant within the Commonwealth, and I look forward to the continuation of the friendship between our two countries and peoples.
“As you celebrate this momentous day, I send you and all Barbadians my warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future,” she ended.