Barbados will soon be free of British colonial rule β€” and will soon have a Black woman as its first president.

According to WION News, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley nominated Dame Sandra Mason as the country’s first president as an independent republic. Dame Mason will assume the role on Nov. 30, 2021, when the country’s final ties with the British monarchy are officially fully severed.

“We believe that she is a fitting nomination for the post of being the first president of Barbados to be elected by this parliament of Barbados,” Mottley said.

Dame Mason is currently the current acting governor-general. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, and the Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad. Dame Mason was also the first Barbadian woman to graduate from the Trinidadian law school.

The decision of the Barbadian government to sever ties with the British monarchy first came in September 2020, when the country announced that they were removing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The Barbados parliament made the move official in September 2021.

To be clear, Barbados has been an independent country since 1966. However, the country β€” along with 16 others that were formally part of the so-called “British empire” β€” still recognized Queen Elizabeth II as its sovereign head of state until this recent decision. And, according to Mottley, it wasn’t a decision made lightly.

β€œIt’s not a divisive decision. It’s not a decision that is reflective of any break with the monarchy or any disrespect. In fact, it’s quite the opposite,” she said. β€œWe have an excellent relationship with the United Kingdom, with the royal family and we believe that the time has just come for us to boost the confidence of our people.”

Check out an Australian news report about the decision below.