Queen Elizabeth II congratulated the newly sworn president of the country after the Caribbean island of Barbados left the British crown.

She congratulated Sandra Mason on her first day in office and sent best wishes for "happiness, peace and prosperity" to all people in Barbados, wrote the 95-year-old British monarch in a message on Tuesday.

Barbados said goodbye to the constitutional monarchy on Tuesday night in a solemn ceremony in the presence of Prince Charles and now has the status of a republic with a head of state from its own ranks.

The judge and former governor general Mason was sworn in as the first woman president of the island state.

The Queen recalled a visit to Barbados in 1966 when the colony became an independent state with its own government.

Since then, the people of Barbados have had a "special place in their hearts," said the Queen's message.

The island nation is rightly proud of its beauty and vibrant culture.

Barbados remains part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

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