BRIDGETOWN - Barbados has announced its intention to remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and become a republic.
"The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," the Caribbean island nation's government said.
It aims to complete the process in time for the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, in November 2021.
A speech written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley said Barbadians wanted a Barbadian head of state.
"This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving," the speech read.
Barbados key facts:
One of the more populous and prosperous Caribbean islands
Gained its independence from Britain in 1966
Queen Elizabeth remains its constitutional monarch
Once heavily dependent on the sugar exports, its economy has diversified into tourism and finance
Its prime minister is Mia Mottley, elected in 2018 and the first woman to hold the post
The statement was part of the Throne Speech, which outlines the government's policies and programmes ahead of the new session of parliament.
While it is read out by the governor-general, it is written by the country's prime minister.
The speech also quoted a warning from Errol Barrow, Barbados's first prime minister after it gained independence, who said that the country should not "loiter on colonial premises".(FA)