Barbados becomes a republic – level 3
The Caribbean island of Barbados has officially removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. For the first time in its 400-year history, the island at last has the power to self-govern.
The country became a republic after electing the previous island’s governor-general Dame Sandra Mason as its first-ever president and replaced the Queen as the head of state.
The change was also part of the island’s 55th anniversary of independence from Britain when Barbados slowly distanced itself from its colonial past. More than 200 years ago, the island was a center for the Atlantic slave trade. Prince Charles, who was a guest of honor, acknowledged the cruel and shocking history of the island, saying that it would forever be a sad reminder.
Despite its new republic status, the island will remain within part of Britain’s Commonwealth.
Difficult words: head of state (the leader of a country), governor-general (the main representative of a country who is working for another country), guest of honor (the most important person at a social occasion), atrocity (an extremely cruel or shocking act that involves physical violence).
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