'We must have reparations' - King Charles urged to back compensation for families of Barbados slaves

ITV News correspondent Ian Woods reports on the reaction to the Queen's death in Barbados, which became the world's newest republic last year.

Commonwealth leaders will soon begin arriving for the Queen’s funeral, with many contemplating their future relationship with the new King.

As ITV News revealed earlier this week, the Antiguan Prime Minister intends to hold a referendum on ending the island's status as a realm, with King Charles as the country's head of state.

Barbados became the world’s newest republic last year, and the then-Prince of Wales took part in the ceremony, where the Royal Standard was lowered for the last time.

What he said then may play a significant role in how he is viewed in the Caribbean.

The Mighty Gabby is the calypso king of Barbados, their best known folk singer and a cultural ambassador.

He's played for and met many members of the Royal Family, and was particularly fond of Princess Margaret.

Even so, he’s never been a royalist and approved of the change to become a republic. 

At the ceremony to end the role of the Crown, King Charles spoke about the island's “darkest days” and called slavery “an appalling atrocity".

The Mighty Gabby was impressed.

He said of the King's speech: “His dialogue, his monologues, his language he used, the tone of it, says that he himself is seeing something different, or wants to see something different."

The Mighty Gabby said he was impressed by the speech King Charles delivered after Barbados became a republic. Credit: ITV News

Barbados was built on slavery - enriching slave owners who took their wealth back to Britain. 

The singer hopes that the new King might be supportive of compensation for the descendants of slaves.

“We must have reparations. This is not something we are begging for. We are demanding reparations," he added.

"And for me reparations don't mean putting money in people's pockets or government coffers. It means building schools, hospitals. Pass on some of the technology to us so that we can ride with you.”

The remarkable life of the Queen remembered and the King's inaugural speech analysed in our latest episodes of What You Need To Know

It took 55 years for Barbados to transition from independence from Britain to an independent republic. 

It was achieved without a referendum, but with little opposition. Most people have little time for abstract discussions about the constitution.

Visible symbols of the past are simpler targets. So, while there had been a long debate about removing a statue of Horatio Nelson from the main square, in Bridgetown, it was only taken down last year, following the Black Lives Matter protests.

It was another reminder that the island once dubbed Little England has loosened ties with London. 

News of the major events since the Queen's death are buried deep in the inside pages of the local papers. 

And while the government ordered flags in Barbados to fly at half mast, between the death and funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela, the Barbadian flag was flying high above the parliament building this week, just a few days after the death of the Queen.

Carol Martindale, the editor of the island's newspaper 'The Nation', told ITV News it would have been at half mast if Her Majesty had still been the Queen of Barbados when she died.

“Even though Barbados is a republic and even though we are taking care of our own affairs, we still have a lot of respect for the monarchy," she said.

She expects there to be extensive coverage of the funeral next Monday.