Prince charles, who said he thought it was “important” for him to attend the ceremony, arrived in Barbados on Sunday evening, following an invitation from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.
The heir to the throne will deliver his speech just after midnight as Barbados begins a new chapter in its history on November 30 – the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.
Prince Charles will say, “As your constitutional status changes, it was important to me that I join with you in reaffirming these things that do not change.
“For example, the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the UK as core members of the Commonwealth; our shared determination to uphold the values we both hold dear and to pursue the goals we share; and the countless bonds between the peoples of our countries – through which flow admiration and affection, cooperation and opportunity – strengthening and enriching us all. “
It is understood that Prince Charles will reflect on his personal connection to the country, which he first visited 50 years ago, in his speech.
Barbados’ decision to remove the Queen as head of state will be closely watched by other members of the Commonwealth, especially in the Caribbean region.
Last month the island elected its very first president to replace the queen.
Sandra Mason, the current Governor General or Representative of the Queen, will be sworn in as President just before Prince Charles delivers her speech.
Announcing her intention to become a republic last year, Ms. Mason said in a speech: “Having achieved independence more than half a century ago, our country cannot doubt its capacity for self-reliance.
“The time has come to put our colonial past completely behind us.
Prince Charles will later receive the prestigious Order of Freedom and Independence award at the transition ceremony.
The honor is bestowed on those who have rendered extraordinary service to the country, to the Caribbean diaspora or to humanity in general.
But David Denny, of the Caribbean movement for peace and integration, has called the prince’s visit an “insult” and calls for reparations to repair the slave trade.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “We have called for protests so that the Barbadian people can show solidarity together and demand reparations from the Royal Family, Richard Drax and all the businesses that have allegedly benefited from the ‘slavery. “
He added: “The Republic means a lot to the people of Barbados. This is why I tell you that what happens on the 30th is only the construction of the Republic, where we will have ceremonial changes.
“But the idea of a Republic would be to create a greater level of people’s participation in decision-making in Barbados, to create the conditions for economic and political democracy in Barbados and to create the conditions for self-government in Barbados. “
When announcing the trip, Clarence House said Prime Minister Mottley had invited Prince Charles, as future head of the Commonwealth, to be the guest of honor at events celebrating the birth of the new republic.
Barbados, a former colony of the British Empire, gained independence in 1966. But since then it has remained a Commonwealth Kingdom, retaining the Queen as monarch.
It follows other Caribbean countries that have also relinquished the Queen as head of state, with Guyana becoming a republic in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago in 1976, and Dominica two years later.
In recent years, Jamaica has also signaled that it wants an elected head of state, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness saying it is a priority for his government but has yet to achieve it.