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Prince Charles falls asleep at a midnight party in Barbados


Today’s camera caught Prince Charles falling asleep during a party marking the historic transition of Barbados to a republic.

The 73-year-old Prince of Wales was photographed closing his eyes as his head slowly moved forward before quickly sitting up while cameras flashed in front of him.

Charles was undoubtedly feeling the effects of a long flight and four hour time difference, as the party started at 11:30pm local time or 3.30am UK time.

He was joined at the presidential inauguration in Bridgetown by former cricketer Garfield Sobers, new president Sandra Mason and singer Rihanna.

It came as the heir to the throne admitted the “appalling atrocities of slavery”, describing it during the ceremony as “forever staining our history”.

Charles summed up the period when the United Kingdom was one of the major players in the transatlantic slave trade as “the darkest days of our past”, but looking to the future he said that “the creation of this republic offers a new beginning”.

The prince will be president of many nations in the Caribbean when he becomes king and his words will resonate throughout the region.

Barbados’ centuries-old ties to the British monarchy were severed when the country’s first president, Sandra Mason, was sworn in to replace the Queen as head of state during an open-air television party in the capital, Bridgetown.

In a message to the president and people of Barbados, the Queen sent the new republic her “warmest wishes for happiness, peace and prosperity for the future” and praised the nation for holding a “special place” at its heart for its “vibrant culture, athletic prowess, and natural beauty.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK and Barbados would remain “steadfast friends and allies” through a “partnership built to last”.

It looks like Prince Charles fell asleep during a midnight party in Barbados overnight

The heir to the throne watched the symbolic moment as the Queen’s standard was lowered for the last time and the presidential flag was raised in place at midnight local time, on November 30, the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.

“The creation of this republic offers a new beginning, but it also marks a point in a continuum, and a milestone in the long road that you have not only traveled, but you have built, Charles told guests, including Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley and singer Rihanna.

Since the darkest days of our past, and the horrific horrors of slavery, which have forever stained our history, the inhabitants of this island have made their way with extraordinary hardness.

Liberation, autonomy 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 explore a new horizon.”

Prince Charles speaks at the presidential inauguration in Barbados today

Prince Charles speaks at the presidential inauguration in Barbados today

His words echoed a speech he gave during a tour of West Africa in 2018 when he described the slave trade, after visiting a site in Ghana where Africans were transported into a life of slavery, as an ‘indelible spot’ on the world.

There were protests in the lead-up to the ceremony with activists in Barbados demanding an apology and reparations from the monarchy and the UK government for slavery.

Successive kings supported or earned money from moving people and selling them for profit during the 17th and 18th centuries.

When abolitionists campaigned against the trade, they were opposed by the Duke of Clarence, son of George III, later becoming William IV.

The royal lobby and the rest of the pro-slavery lobby would eventually lose the battle when William Wilberforce and other abolitionists succeeded in passing a bill banning the slave trade in 1807.

Former cricketer Garfield Sobers, new president Sandra Mason, singer Rihanna and the Prince of Wales stand during the presidential inauguration in Barbados today

Former cricketer Garfield Sobers, new president Sandra Mason, singer Rihanna and the Prince of Wales stand during the presidential inauguration in Barbados today

Charles’ letter was a positive message, as if he wrote to a close acquaintance, not regretting the decision made by the leaders of Barbados.

He listed the ways he would remain deeply committed to this very special country, and highlighted Prince Trust International’s ongoing efforts to support Barbados’ youth and its work with their government on issues such as climate change.

The prince added: “I will always consider myself a friend of Barbados.

Tonight you write the next chapter of your nation’s story, adding to the treasury of past accomplishments, team projects and personal courage already filling its pages.

“Your story is one in which every Barbadian, young and old, can be most proud – inspired by what came before and confident in what lies ahead.”

Britain’s commitment to maintaining a strong relationship with the Caribbean nation also appears to be a priority, as a trade delegation of 25 British companies visited, the first in three years, earlier this month with Darren Henry, the prime minister’s trade envoy to the Caribbean.

Wendy Morton, the minister for Europe and the Americas, arrived with the prince on Sunday and is making a series of visits to the island.

Barbados’ decision could impact others, said Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, saying: “Big congratulations to Barbados on this historic moment in their nation’s story.

“Barbados is not only doing itself a favor, but it is paving the way for the other fifteen commonwealth realms.”

He added: ‘The transition in Barbados has also sparked calls for reparations for slavery and an apology from the royal family for their families’ role in the slave trade.

These calls are endless and there is no way the royals will get out of this debate without much damage to their reputations.



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