To become a republic in 2021, Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
The move will leave 15 countries under Queen Elizabeth’s rule from next year.
The Caribbean island of Barbados will become a republic and remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state by the end of next year, officials announced Tuesday.
The former colony has been independent from the U.K. since 1966, but kept a formal link with the monarchy and Queen Elizabeth II as a legal and practical, but non-political, ruler.
The removal of the British monarchy is due to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Barbadian independence, due in November 2021.
A speech written by Prime Minister, Mia Mottley and read out by Governor-General Sandra Mason on Tuesday set out the nation’s plan for a home-grown head of state, ahead of the opening of parliament.
“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence of who we are and what we are capable of achieving.
“The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” she added.
Both Buckingham Palace and the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office said the issue is a matter for the people of Barbados, Reuters reported.
Barbados is expected to follow other former colonies that became republics by remaining in the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of mostly former British colonies headed by the queen.
The last nation to remove the queen as head of state was Mauritius, back in 1992. The island nation has since been governed by an elected president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government.
U.K, and 14 other countries will remain under the rule of Queen Elizabeth II when Barbados becomes a republic.