Governor-General of Barbados

Governor-General of Barbados

Coat of Arms of Barbados

Sir Elliott Belgrave

since 1 June 2012
Style His Excellency
Residence Government House, Barbados
Appointer Monarch of Barbados
Term length At Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation 30 November 1966
First holder Sir John Montague Stow
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The Governor-General of Barbados is a vice-regal representative of the Barbadian monarch (presently Queen Elizabeth II). Under the government's Table of Precedence for Barbados, 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 the monarch's 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).[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.


The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, 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 unilaterally; it is usually only used in such a way in emergencies and in some cases war.[10]

A simplified diagram of the Barbados government

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, the Governor-General is given authority to act in some matters; for example, in appointing and disciplining officers of the civil service, granting "any person convicted of any offence against the laws of Barbados a pardon",[11] and in proroguing parliament. But, in only a few cases is the Governor-General 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

On 30 November 1966, Barbados achieved independence from Britain.

Took office Left office Name
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
1 June 1996 31 October 2011 Sir Clifford Husbands
1 November 2011 30 May 2012 Sir Elliott Belgrave
30 May 2012 1 June 2012 Sandra Mason
1 June 2012 Incumbent Sir Elliott Belgrave

Official oath of office

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:

I, _________________________, do swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, in the office of Governor-General. So help me God.

See also


  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

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