The Queen's role
In November 2021 Barbados became a republic, meaning that The Queen is no longer Head of State, though the island nation will remain part of the Commonwealth.
Dame Sandra Mason is now President of Barbados, having served as as Governor General (The Queen's representative in Barbados) from 2018. She was voted President-elect by the people of Barbados in October 2021.
The Prince of Wales attended events to mark Barbados's transition to a republic, and was welcomed by Dame Sandra at Bridgetown airport.
In a message from The Queen which His Royal Highness delivered to the new President during his visit, Her Majesty wrote of Barbados's, 'vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty,' and wished Barbadians well in their new era as a republic:
As you celebrate this momentous day, I send you and all Barbadians my warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future.
Barbados saw visits from many members of The Royal Family, often marking historic moments in the life of Barbados, or milestones for The Queen.
At the end of the Silver Jubilee tour of 1977, Concorde made its first landing in Barbados, with The Queen experiencing her first supersonic flight.
The Queen joined celebrations for the 350th anniversary of the Barbados Parliament in 1989, later visiting Queen's College to officiate at stone laying ceremonies for the school's new buildings.
In 2010, Prince Harry visited Barbados to launch the first Sentebale Polo Cup, which aims to raise awareness and funding for Sentebale's work with vulnerable children in Lesotho.
As part of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee tour in 2012, The Earl and Countess of Wessex attended the Joint Sitting of the Parliament of Barbados, visited the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, and meeting Duke of Edinburgh Gold Standard awardees.
The Princess Royal visited Barbados in 2015, as part of her trip to the Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders Dialogue, which aims to join together Canadian and Caribbean communities in a diverse leadership learning experience.
In 2016, as part of his Caribbean visit on behalf of The Queen, Prince Harry visited Barbados. The Prince visited to join Barbados' 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Our countries have a shared history, shared values and an affection which continues to bind us in friendship. On this day of celebration, I send my congratulations to you on your Golden Jubilee of Independence.
The Queen's message to Barbados on its 50th anniversary, as delivered by Prince Harry
Prince Harry spoke at a special concert at Kensington Oval celebrating 50 years of Independence in the country, having earlier delivered a message from The Queen congratulating the island on its historic anniversary.
The Prince of Wales visited Barbados on many occasions, and was present at events to mark the country's transition to a republic in 2021.
In his speech at the event marking a new era for Barbados, His Royal Highness said:
You are the guardians of your heritage, firm craftsmen of your fate! I remain deeply committed to this very special country, and to your future prosperity and wellbeing. I shall always consider myself a friend of Barbados.
The Queen's Young Leaders
The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognises and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.
In 2015, Donnya Piggott became Barbados' first Queen's Young Leader, in recognition of her work supporting the LGBT community in Barbados.
In 2016, two Queen's Young Leaders from Barbados were identified. Firhaana Bulbulia, founder of Barbados Association of Muslim Ladies, was congratulated for her work supporting Barbadian women. Shamelle Rice was also given an Award for her work providing female sex workers and women in juvenile detention facilities with vocational training and mentorship.
On his visit to Barbados in 2016, Prince Harry met Jamella Sealy, one of the 2017 Queens Young Leaders.
Through The Queen's Young Leaders Programme, these inspirational young people will be supported and encouraged to continue their amazing work across the Commonwealth.