Governor-General of Barbados

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Governor-General of Barbados
Barbados Coat of Arms.svg
Coat of Arms of Barbados
Sir Elliott Belgrave

since 1 June 2012
Style His Excellency
Residence Government House, Barbados
Appointer Queen Elizabeth II
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation 30 November 1966
First holder Sir John Montague Stow
Standard of the Governor-General of Barbados
Barbados Coat of Arms.svg
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The Governor-General of Barbados is a vice-regal representative of the Barbadian monarch (presently Queen Elizabeth II); and regularly acts within the nation's Office of the Governor-General as the nation's Head of State. Under the Government's Table of Precedence for Barbados, the Office of the Governor-General of Barbados is regarded as being the most important of all personnel of the Barbados Government.[1]

The Office is accorded legitimacy by Chapter IV of the Constitution of Barbados.[2] The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister of Barbados.[3][4] The Governor-General exercises executive powers and who assents to bills in her name before they can become promulgated into law.[5] The Barbados Constitution limits the powers of the Governor-General (known as a "Constitutional monarchy" system of governance), however.[6] This effectively limits the powers of the Queen as it does the Governor-General, who in most instances, exercises authority on the advice of the Prime Minister, or other persons or bodies within Barbados.[7]

The Office of the Governor-General was established when Barbados gained independence in 1966. Since the settlement of Barbados by the British, Barbados has had 68 Governors and subsequently 6 Governors-General.

A simplified diagram of the Barbados government


The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office, appoints a Governor-General to be her representative in Barbados.[8][9] Both the Queen and the Governor-General hold much power of the country though it is rarely used, it is usually only used in emergencies and in some cases war.[10]

The Governor-General represents the Queen on ceremonial occasions such as the opening of Parliament, and the presentation of honours and military parades. Under the Constitution, he is given authority to act in some matters, for example: in appointing and disciplining officers of the civil service; the power to grant "any person convicted of any offence against the laws of Barbados a pardon";[11] and in proroguing Parliament; and so on, but only in a few cases is he empowered to act entirely on his own discretion.

The Governor-General of Barbados also chairs the Privy Council of Barbados.

List of Governors-General of Barbados[edit]

On 30 November 1966, Barbados achieved independence from Britain.

From To Name Comments
30 November 1966 18 May 1967 Sir John Montague Stow
18 May 1967 9 August 1976 Sir Arleigh Winston Scott Died in office
9 August 1976 17 November 1976 Sir William Douglas Acting (first time)
17 November 1976 9 January 1984 Sir Deighton Lisle Ward Died in office
10 January 1984 24 February 1984 Sir William Douglas Acting (second time)
24 February 1984 6 June 1990 Sir Hugh Springer
6 June 1990 19 December 1995 Dame Nita Barrow Died in office
19 December 1995 1 June 1996 Sir Denys Williams Acting
1 June 1996 31 October 2011 Sir Clifford Husbands
1 November 2011 30 May 2012 Sir Elliott Belgrave Acting
30 May 2012 1 June 2012 Sandra Mason Acting
1 June 2012 Present Sir Elliott Belgrave

Official oath of office[edit]

According to the First Schedule section of the Constitution of Barbados, the official Oath of office for the Governor-General of Barbados is as follows:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Table of Precedence for Barbados - July, 2008
  2. ^ Constitution, Chapter IV
  3. ^ Constitution, Chapter IV, Section 28(1)
  4. ^ Constitution, Chapter IV, Section 32
  5. ^ Constitution, Chapter V, Section 58(1)
  6. ^ Constitution, Chapter IV, Section 32
  7. ^ Constitution, Chapter IV, Section 32
  8. ^ "Queen's role in Barbados". The Monarchy Today: Queen and State. The Barbadian Monarchy. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Constitution, Chapter VI, Part 1; Section 28
  10. ^ Constitution, Chapter III, Part 15; Section 25(1)(a)
  11. ^ Constitution, Chapter VI, Part 2; Section 78(1)(a)

External links[edit]