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Antigua and Barbuda to witness Barbados’ change to a Republic

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Antigua and Barbuda will participate in a historic ceremony today, when Barbados will cut ties with the British crown after nearly 400 years.

Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez will represent Prime Minister Gaston Browne at the event where Queen Elizabeth II will be officially replaced as head of state by a president.

Britain’s Prince Charles is also expected to arrive in Barbados as the island prepares for a celebration to mark the founding of a Republic.

A number of political groups have planned protests to condemn his involvement in the landmark celebrations.

The former British colony — which gained independence in 1966 — revived its plan to become a republic last September with the country’s Governor General, Sandra Mason, saying the time had come to leave the colonial past behind.

Mason will be sworn in as the first-ever president of the island nation at a ceremony on Monday night.

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