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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