Rihanna has been named the 11th National Hero of the newly formed Republic of Barbados.
Barbados has officially removed the Queen as its head of state and become a republic, 396 years after it was made part of the British Empire and 55 years after gaining independence from Britain.
This week, the Caribbean island officially removed the Queen of England as its head of state after 396 years as part of the British Empire. Barbados now becomes a republic, 55 years after it gained independence from Britain.
Prince Charles, Barbados prime minister Mia Motley and the republic’s new president, Dame Sandra Mason, were all in attendance to honour Rihanna, who was born in Bridgetown, Barbados, as a National Hero.
Motley said: “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, may you continue to shine like a diamond.”
She added: “Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth.
“Having satisfied that Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados.”
Elsewhere in her speech, Motley hailed a new beginning in the country, saying: “Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage. Our country must dream big dreams and fight to realise them.
Reflecting on Britain’s role in the country’s colonial past, Prince Charles added: “The creation of this republic offers a new beginning. From the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.”