Barbados has declared itself an independent state and will no longer be part of the monarchy.
“This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving,” the announcement read.
In the Throne Speech made in the heat of the Black Lives Matter movement by Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason, on behalf of Prime Minister Mia Mottley she said “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind.”
Like Barbados, Canada is also a former British colony, and part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Toronto-based historian and author Carolyn Harris told HuffPost that while Canada will likely remain as part of the monarchy for the time being, the role of The Queen in Canadian society will become less and less.
“First of all, there are the practical considerations. A unanimous sentiment among all ten provinces is needed to make a change to the Queen’s office, under article 41(a) of the Constitution Act. So unless anti-monarchy sentiment becomes widespread across the country, Harris explained, it’s unlikely that every province will want to proceed with making Canada a republic.”
At this time, making Canada a republic is probably not top of the list for the federal government, and it would involve substantial changes for them. Most significantly, this move might reopen negotiations with Canadian First Nations, since all treaties are currently held with the Crown.
According to a poll taken earlier this year, 81% of Canadians would prefer to have the Queen remain as Head of State. Queen Elizabeth has visited Canada over 20 times, with the first being in 1951, prior to becoming Queen.
There does however, appear to be a lesser vote of confidence by Canadians in her successors, as the poll also revealed that 51% of Canandians do want to become a republic when her reign ends.
Harris explained that “Polling data concerning the monarchy in Canada often varies according to a number of conditions including whether there has been a recent royal tour or whether royal finances have been a prominent news item.”
Recently, Harry and Megan announced they were stepping down as working members of the royal family, in order to pursue other interests, and Prince Andrew is no longer undertaking public duties due to his ties to Jeffery Epstein. This likely means that there will continue to be less royal tours in the future.
“There may well be less visibility for the royal family and greater visibility for the Governor General in Canada.”
Barbados has been discussing this transition since their anniversary of independence in 2016 and they, along with the rest of the Carribean, have a different relationship with the Crown than Canada does.
Former British colonies, including Dominica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago have all become republics.
In the summer, as the Black Lives Matter protests grew in size and scope, Harry and Megan spoke out in solidarity, with Harry specifically asking Brits to “acknowledge the past” and address their history of colonialism. Harris thinks that going forward, we will see the monarchy hold itself more accountable for these injustices.