Prince Charles arrives in Barbados ahead of state visit
Barbadian-born all-rounder Sir Garfield Sobers, 85, voiced his disappointment after the Caribbean nation decided to become a republic. While the Caribbean nation has brought to an end 400-years as a so-called constitutional monarchy, Barbados will remain a member of the Commonwealth - alongside republics such as South Africa and India.
The move comes after more than a decade of constitutional discussions in Barbados.
Despite plans in 2008 to hold a referendum, no poll was held and the government of Barbados instead announced it intended to sever ties with Buckingham Palace back in 2020.
Barbados will replace Her Majesty with President Sandra Mason, 72, later today, just 55-years after the nation celebrated independence from the United Kingdom.
Prince Charles, 73, will be in Bridgetown to mark the constitutional alteration.
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Cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers in 'shock' over Barbados' decision to become a republic
Queen Elizabeth II
But Sir Sobers, who made his test debut for the West Indies against England in 1954, told the Telegraph: “It will be very sad for a lot of us.”
The cricketing legend, who was knighted in the Barbadian capital after he spent a period of his career playing for Nottinghamshire, added: “The Queen was very highly appreciated here.
“It will be very sad for a lot of us.
“It was a bit of a shock.”
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Sobers was knighted in Bridgetown after he spent a period of his career playing for Nottinghamshire
Speaking about his knighthood, the 93-time capped cricketer said: “What a great honour it was.
“I couldn’t believe it.
“I thought it was a joke.
“The place was completely packed.
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Queen and Philip in Barbados in 1966
Prince Charles in Barbados
“When she took out the sword to knight me, my little boy was there and he said ‘Don’t hit my daddy with that!’”
But Sir Sobers also explained to the broadsheet how the Queen, 95, would be in attendance during the side’s test matches at Lords.
Following Barbados’ decision to cut links with the Crown, there are concerns other nations could soon join them.
However, when Canberra asked Australian voters whether the land Down Under should become a republic in 1999, electors backed keeping the Royal Family by 55 percent to 45 percent.