Little England, as Barbados is sometimes called, has blunted the idea of creating its own republic since the 1970s, when a commission was formed to investigate its viability. At the time, the commission concluded that there was not enough public support, but the idea continued.
This re-surfaced in the late 1990s, when another commission recommended that Barbados become a parliamentary republic. In 2005, the country adopted a law to hold a referendum on the matter, although one was never held. In 2015, the then Prime Minister, Frendel Stuart, aimed to establish a republic with the 50th anniversary of independence.
Ms Motley said nothing about holding a referendum, sidelining a vote that has thwarted many other republican movements. Experts said it has the mandate to move forward without any change. Her Barbados Labor Party won all 30 parliament seats in elections in 2018, making her the country’s largest leader in addition to her first female prime minister.
The government also announced a plan to legalize same-sex civil unions, although it would cast for a popular vote.
In Jamaica, the Republican movement has been gaining momentum for years. In 2012, a former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, said that the time had come to leave the queen as head of state. His successor, Andrew Holness, made similar remarks in 2016, although a referendum is unlikely soon, requiring the country to overcome the coronovirus epidemic.
For all historical symbols, the reaction to the declaration in Barbados was silent. On social media, people mentioned that the country already had its own queen – pop star Rihanna, who hails from Barbados.