Great Britain colonized many parts of the world in the past. But while most countries have fought and won their freedom, some countries still remain in what is known as the commonwealth. Think of it as a little club of countries that used to be former territories of the British empire. It makes sense for a super-tiny country to be part of the commonwealth, because it can benefit from the community and policies of the commonwealth while focusing on building the country. Some countries, like Australia, are part of the commonwealth, and they consider the Queen of England to be their head of the state. Other countries have chosen to withdraw from the commonwealth just like Pakistan and Zimbabwe did.
But recently, the country of Barbados took their independence from the commonwealth one step further. Even though it had declared independence from the British and the commonwealth in the 1960s, the Queen of England is still the head of the state. If new policies go into effect, that may no longer be the case. The country has declared its intention to remove her as its head of state and be an independent republic by the end of 2021. Maybe it’s the country’s way of sending a message about complete independence, or maybe it’s a message about how minorities are treated in European countries. But this could be the beginning of change, with countries like Jamaica possibly following suit. The prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, said, “The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.”