The Prince of Wales, 73, touched down in Barbados on Sunday evening, and will be present to see Barbados severing ties with the British monarchy. Prince Charles was met by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who extended the invitation to the heir apparent. Roya Nikkah, royal editor for The Sunday Times, described the Prince’s arrival “for the final time as prince of the realm, greeted by Prime Minister Mia Mottley as the island prepares to go it alone as a republic and cut ties with the monarchy after centuries of British rule.”
She added on Twitter that the Queen “will feel ‘sadness’ but ‘respects’ Barbados’s decision to become a republic, as the Prince of Wales, with ‘a twinge of regret’, is the first royal to witness a realm cutting ties with the monarchy.”
Barbados is the first nation to remove Her Majesty, 95, as head of state in nearly 30 years.
Prince Charles, representing the Queen and the Firm through his visit, will deliver an address as the country marks its transformation, which will come as it observes its 55th anniversary as independent from Britain.
The Prince is expected to reiterate on Tuesday the continued ties and “myriad connections between the people of our countries”, reports Sky News.
He is likely to say: “As your constitutional status changes, it was important to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change.”
He is expected to speak of “the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as vital members of the Commonwealth,” adding there is a “common determination to defend the values we both cherish and to pursue the goals we share.”
He will praise “the myriad connections between the people of our countries – through which flow admiration and affection, co-operation and opportunity – strengthening and enriching us all.”
Barbados elected a president for the first time in its history last month, who will take the position previously occupied by the Queen.
READ MORE: Respect for Queen Elizabeth II ‘stronger than ever’
These 70 years have seen a wholesale transformation in how the head of state for the British monarchy relates to countries of the Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth II remembering the independence movements of countries like Barbados as they wrestled free of the British Empire.
Former British colony Barbados gained independence in 1966, but has since kept the Queen as head of state.
However, this also comes at a time of the Queen’s wavering health – one of the reason’s for her son, Prince Charles, to represent her abroad, as he has done not just in recent weeks, but over the last few years.
Prince Charles’s visit has not been universally welcomed in Barbados, with some organisations objecting to both the Prince of Wales’s presence and participation in the celebrations.
He will also be awarded the Order of Freedom of Barbados, the country’s highest honour.
David Denny, from the Caribbean movement for Peace and Integration, told Sky News that the Prince’s visit was “an insult”.
He said: “We called the protests so that Barbadian people could express their solidarity together and demand reparations from the Royal Family, Richard Drax and all of the companies that would have benefited from slavery.”