Queen Elizabeth II wishes the people of Barbados luck as they transition out of British rule.
After 400 years, Barbados removed the Queen as head of state on Nov. 29 and replaced her with Barbados President Sandra Mason.
In a letter to the new president, she sent Mason and Barbados warm wishes for the transition.
“On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first president of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians,” the Queen wrote. “Over the years, our countries have enjoyed a partnership based on common values, shared prosperity, and close collaboration on a wide range of issues, including recent work on climate change.
“It is also a source of great satisfaction that Barbados remains an active participant within the Commonwealth, and I look forward to the continuation of the friendship between our two countries and peoples.”
While the country is changing head of state, it will still remain part of the British Commonwealth.
The Queen concluded the note, “As you celebrate this momentous day, I send you and all Barbadians my warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace, and prosperity in the future.”
Barbados gained independence from Britain in 1966.
Prince Charles flew in to witness the historic event, which is the first time a senior member of the Royal Family has attended such a ceremony.
In his speech, the prince referenced Britain’s past in the slave trade: “From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.
“Emancipation, self-government and independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides. Your long journey has brought you to this moment, not as your destination, but as a vantage point from which to survey a new horizon.”