Prince Charles was caught on camera today appearing to doze off during a ceremony which marked the historic transition of Barbados to a republic.
The 73-year-old Prince of Wales was filmed closing his eyes as his head slowly moved forward before he quickly sat up as cameras flashed in front of him.
Charles was no doubt feeling the effects of a long flight and the four-hour time difference, with the ceremony starting at 11.30pm local time or 3.30am UK time.
He was joined at the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in Bridgetown by former cricketer Garfield Sobers, new president Sandra Mason and singer Rihanna.
It comes as the heir to the throne acknowledged the ‘appalling atrocity of slavery’, describing it during the ceremony as something ‘which forever stains our history’.
Charles summed up the period when the UK was one of the leading players in the transatlantic slave trade as the ‘darkest days of our past’, but looking to the future said the ‘creation of this republic offers a new beginning’.
The prince will be head of state of many nations in the Caribbean when he becomes king and his words will resonate across the region.
Barbados’ ties with the British monarchy going back centuries were severed when the nation’s first president, Dame Sandra Mason, was sworn into office replacing the Queen as head of state during a televised open-air ceremony in the capital Bridgetown.
In a message to the president and the people of Barbados the Queen sent the new republic her ‘warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future’ and praised the nation which has a ‘special place’ in her heart for ‘its vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK and Barbados will remain ‘steadfast friends and allies’ with ‘a partnership built to last’.
The heir to the throne watched the symbolic moment as the Queen’s standard was lowered for the last time and the presidential flag raised in its place at midnight local time, on November 30, the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.
Charles told guests including Barbados’ prime minister Mia Mottley and singer Rihanna: ‘The creation of this Republic offers a new beginning, but it also marks a point on a continuum, a milestone on the long road you have not only travelled, but which you have built.
‘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.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail