President of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, praising the monarch for “stoic determination” that enabled her to be regarded as a “most treasured and valued world figure”.
In a video address, the Barbadian head of state said the death of the Queen marked “the end of an era” and said the late monarch will hold a “special place in our hearts” for a long time.
The Queen, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the UK’s figurehead for seven decades, died on Thursday at the age 96 at her estate in Balmoral, Scotland.
This is Dame Sandra’s full statement:
“Today on behalf of the government and the people of Barbados, I extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to members of the royal family, and the people of the United Kingdom on the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Eliabeth II, the Head of the Commonwealth.
“While her passing marks the end of an era, her reign will forever represent the kind of stoic determination our world has required of its leaders over the past century, but which, sadly, we have not always been able to witness.
“And today, given the most precarious position facing the world and the threat that it poses to the well being of millions, we may all find a most valuable lesson in the strength of character and concern for humanity that was so much a feature of her 70 years on the British throne.
“Just under one year ago, Barbados took the decision to complete the course of independence by breaking constitutional ties with the British monarchy and establishing the world’s newest republic.
“Significant, as that decision was, given the place Barbados has held in the British empire for centuries, it did not in the least diminish the friendship between the two nations, or indeed, with Buckingham Palace.
“The presence of His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, at that ceremony signified the depth and warmth of those bonds.
“Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II will also hold a special place in ours hearts, and we in Barbados will always treasure the memories of her visits to the island, in particular on Wednesday, February 19, 1975, when she knighted our first national hero, The Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers on the Garrison Savannah.
“So, today, as we acknowledge the passing of Britain’s longest serving monarch, we pay respect to this most treasured and valued world figure. Her Majesty, The Queen, will come to be recognised as one of the most iconic global leaders in the post-World War II era. This high regard with which she was held was a testament to the quality of her reign.
“Our prayers and thoughts rest now with the King and Queen Consort, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and all other members of the royal family, the people and the government of the United Kingdom.
“May the soul of Her Majesty rest in eternal peace.”