Here's Who Will Replace Queen Elizabeth As This Country's Head Of State

Queen Elizabeth will no longer be the head of state in Barbados. The country that gained its independence from Britain in 1966 has moved forward with its plan to become a republic (via NBC News). "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," said Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason speaking on behalf of the country's Prime Minister Mia Mottley. "Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence," she added.

Barbados will celebrate the anniversary of its independence in November, and it will seemingly come with some big changes for the people of the country. Despite the change to remove the queen as the head of state, Britain's Foreign Office says that the two nations will continue to stand together. "Barbados and the UK are united in our shared history, culture, language and much more. We have an enduring partnership and will continue to work with them along with all our valued Caribbean partners," a spokeswoman for the office said.

Meanwhile, the Barbadians have already chosen their very first president.

Dame Sandra Mason will replace Queen Elizabeth

According to People, the people of Barbados have spoken and they've elected their first-ever president following the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II would no longer serve as their head of state. Barbadians have chosen Dame Sandra Mason, 72, to lead the country after she won a two-thirds vote at a session of the Caribbean nation's House of Assembly and Senate on October 20. Mason currently serves as the governor-general of the country.

The President-elect is set to be sworn in on November 30, which is also the 55th anniversary of the country's independence from Britain. At the ceremony, Mason will officially replace the queen as the head of state. Prime Minister Mia Mottley reportedly called the election a "seminal moment," per Sky News. "We have just elected from among us a woman who is uniquely and passionately Barbadian, does not pretend to be anything else [and] reflects the values of who we are."

Mason previously worked as a schoolteacher, a magistrate, the ambassador to Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and Brazil and a judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados. She also served as registrar of the Supreme Court until 2005. She was appointed governor-general in 2018, and in her spare time, she likes to read, play board games, and travel, per her official bio. However, she credits her "greatest achievement" as motherhood.

This is a great time for the people of Barbados, who are ready to celebrate with Mason when she takes office.