You are a remarkable nation and I have no doubt that you have a remarkable future aheadThe Duke of Sussex
Thank you Prime Minister…
Good evening Barbados!
I am honoured to be representing my grandmother The Queen as we celebrate the historic milestone of 50 years of independence of this nation. Her Majesty visited your beautiful country on the eve of independence in early 1966. The people of Barbados have held a special place in her heart ever since.
Your independence was a declaration of confidence in the future. And 50 years on, Barbados is a country rightfully proud of its vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Tonight we pay tribute to those leaders who helped forge independence. Independent Barbados is to be warmly congratulated for having been a model international citizen for 50 years, an unfailing champion of Democracy and the rule of law. You have been a shining example of the values which unite our Commonwealth family to which The Queen attaches special importance – integrity, kindness, selflessness and service.
But when we celebrate a milestone like this, what we are really celebrating is our confidence in the future.
And in that spirit I would like to directly address the young people in this audience and those watching at home.
You should be very proud to be young Barbadians.
You should be proud of the country that your parents and grandparents have built.
Now it is your time to honour the work of the generations that have come before you. It is up to you to write the next 50 years of this country’s story.
Like other young people around the world, the young people of Barbados face challenges.
You look into the future and wonder how technology will change your lives. You wonder how you will obtain the skills and resources to compete in a rapidly changing world. And I know that you worry about the impact climate change will have on island nations like yours.
What I say to you is this: the solutions to these challenges will not come from anyone else. The answers must come from you. Good things happen to good people; believe you can make change; and if you lead by example, others will follow.
When Barbados marks 100 years of independence, it will be your contribution that will be judged. And we need everyone of you, to do all that you can, so that in 2066 we have reason to throw an even bigger party than we are throwing tonight.
I know that so many young Barbadians are already making a big impact. What I have seen throughout the region and here in Barbados, is that anyone looking for young role models, will find them here in the Caribbean. It is now my great pleasure to invite one of them to join me on stage. Can I please introduce you to one of your own, Jamilla Sealy.
Jamilla is passionate about the environment. She teaches environmental science to children and helps to organise communities here in Barbados to keep beaches clean and to understand the threats posed by climate change. She has represented her country at United Nations meetings and is now creating an online map to identify illegal dumpsites.
Jamilla is already a strong Barbadian young leader, and tonight I am delighted to announce that she can now call herself one of The Queen’s Young Leaders for 2017. She has been selected as one of 60 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth who are making an extraordinary impact in the lives of others. She will travel to London next year to build relationships with her peers from around the world and to be honoured by Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace. I know that we will be hearing a lot more about her in the years to come.
Congratulations Jamilla. Please join me in giving her a big round of applause.
Let me end by again offering my congratulations to Barbados for 50 years of independence. You are a remarkable nation and I have no doubt that you have a remarkable future ahead.
Thank you. Have a great night!