It's a historic day in Barbados, and Queen Elizabeth wishes the new republic well.

Today, Barbados removed the Queen as head of state, ending nearly four centuries of British rule in the Caribbean nation. Despite this severing of ties, Queen Elizabeth released a warm statement highlighting the connections between the UK and Barbados.

Queen Elizabeth reacts: Statement on Barbados

The Queen didn't attend the grand ceremony in Bridgetown, which inaugurated the new era for Barbadians. But she did send along a congratulatory message to Sandra Mason, the first President of Barbados.

The Queen wrote: "On this significant occasion and your assumption of office as the first president of Barbados, I extend my congratulations to you and all Barbadians.

"Over the years, our countries have enjoyed a partnership based on common values, shared prosperity, and close collaboration on a wide range of issues, including recent work on climate change," she continued.

The Queen's message concluded: "It is also a source of great satisfaction that Barbados remains an active participant within the Commonwealth, and I look forward to the continuation of the friendship between our two countries and peoples."

The official letter came on Windsor Castle press and was signed: "Elizabeth II." While the Queen didn't make the long flight to Barbados for the historic midnight ceremony, Prince Charles did attend.

The heir to the throne made headlines with his speech which reflected on British imperialism and condemned slavery as an "appalling atrocity which forever stains our history."

(Prince Charles was also spotted dozing off at one moment during the ceremony, which was essentially an all-nighter for him due to the time change.)

Barbados had been a British colony since 1625. It became an independent state in 1966 but remained a constitutional monarchy with the Queen as head of state until today.

55 years after gaining independence, the Caribbean nation is now a republic and Sandra Mason is its first President.