A former jurist who has been governor-general of the island since 2018, Mason was also the first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley called the election of a president “a seminal moment” in the country’s journey.
“We have just elected from among us a woman who is uniquely and passionately Barbadian, does not pretend to be anything else (e) reflects the values of who we are,” Mottley said after Mason’s election.
Several countries dropped the Queen as head of state in the years after they gained independence, with Mauritius the last to do so, nel 1992. That makes Barbados the first country in nearly three decades to drop the monarch.
The Queen is still head of state in more than a dozen other countries that were formerly under British rule, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica.
Wazim Mowla of the Atlantic Council think tank told Reuters the election could benefit Barbados both at home and abroad.
The move makes Barbados, a small developing country, a more legitimate player in global politics, Mowla said, but could also serve as a “unifying and nationalistic move” that may benefit its current leadership at home.
“Other Caribbean leaders and their citizens will likely praise the move, but I don’t expect others to follow suit,” Mowla added. “This move will always be considered only if it is in the best interest of each country.”
Mottley said the country’s decision to become a republic was not a condemnation of its British past.
“We look forward to continuing the relationship with the British monarch,” lei disse.