November 30 2021, Bridgetown, fifty-five years since Barbados’ 1966 Independence, the Royal Standard flag representing the Queen was lowered and Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the president of Barbados. The handover ceremony marked the birth of the world’s newest republic.
The most easterly of the Caribbean Islands, Barbados was inhabited by its indigenous peoples prior to the European colonisation of the Americas in the 16th century. Under the command of Captain John Powell, the first English ship arrived in Barbados in May 1625 and its men took possession of the island in the name of King James I. During this period, Barbados became an English and later British colony that served as a plantation economy, dependent on the labour of enslaved Africans on the island's sugar plantations.
Dan is joined by Guy Hewitt, who served as the High Commissioner of Barbados in London from 2014 to 2018. They discuss the detailed history of Barbados, the significance of the Slave Trade until its formal abolition in 1834, the impact of the Commonwealth, subsequent Barbadian-British relations, and why now sees the end to the 396-year-reign of the British Monarchy over the Island country.