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Rihanna Steals the Show as Barbados Becomes a Republic

Rihanna Steals the Show as Barbados Becomes a Republic





Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and became a republic. Several leaders, dignitaries, including Prince Charles and Rihanna, attended the ceremony. As the ceremony ended, officials lowered the Queen’s royal standard in Barbados.

Queen Elizabeth II issued a statement, where she congratulated the island nation for its “momentous day”, and further added that she looked forward to the friendship between the two nations of Barbados and the United Kingdom.

As Barbados became a republic, its Prime Minister Mia Mottley declared that Barbadian singer and actress Rihanna is a national hero. Rihanna has been conferred with the title, “the right excellent” as the island became a republic and Queen Elizabeth II was removed as head of state. Rihanna was awarded the honour during the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony at Heroes Square in Bridgetown, Barbados, on November the 30th 2020.



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The culture, history and achievements of Barbados were celebrated with music, dance and spoken word during the ceremony and a number of poets and activists criticised the colonial past of the island nation and called for it to embrace the opportunities of becoming a republic.





Rihanna, who grew up in the island nation, witnessed the historic ceremony that broke Barbados’s centuries old ties with the British monarchy and swore in its first president Dame Sandra Mason, ending the Queen’s role as head of state.

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley surprised the invited guests when she said her government had recommended the celebrity be made a member of the Order of National Heroes on Wednesday.

While announcing her name, Prime Minister Mia Mottley stated that she would like to name Ambassador Rihanna, real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty as the national hero of Barbados, on behalf of the entire nation. Mia Mottley further wished for Rihanna to continue to bring honour to the nation by her words and action.

Quoting Rihanna’s lyrics back to her, Mia Mottley added, “May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your words, by your action, and to do credit wherever you shall go. God bless you, my dear”.

“On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty,” the Prime Minister said in the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.

The Prime Minister, while honouring Rihanna, spoke of how the famous singer, who came from a humble background, rose to success across the world and was born less than a mile away from where the ceremonial event was happening. The Prime Minister congratulated Rihanna for “commanding the imagination of the world” through her creativity, discipline and commitment to her birthplace.


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Rihanna, who flew back to Barbados for the event, touched her heart as she was praised by Ms Mottley. Rihanna expressed her gratitude to the Prime Minister for the honour. Before taking her seat, the singer greeted several people who were attending the event, including Prince Charles who appeared to be ‘side lined’ at the event. It is for the first time after 20 years that Barbados has conferred the honour.

The Prince of Wales who represented the United Kingdom, was warmly welcomed by the guests at the event, and declared:

“I shall always consider myself a friend of Barbados.”

The Price Of Wales’s speech gave a positive message, harbouring no regret at the decision taken by the Barbadian leaders, and also acknowledged Britain’s role in the “appalling atrocity of slavery”.

He listed the ways he will “remain deeply committed to this very special country”, highlighting the on-going efforts of his Prince’s Trust International charity in supporting Barbados’s young people and his work with their government on issues including climate change.

Poet Cyndi Celeste summed up the mood of the event when she stated:

“Today, after successive governments have tried and failed to rekindle the flame, we finally raised the flag of a nation no longer clinging to colonial coat tails for its identity. We’ve been so focused on searching for the problems that we do not recognise the opportunities we have been given… shedding the vestiges of a monarchy means we get to denounce the moniker of ‘little England’ and vest the powers of the state in every Barbadian citizen.”

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