The Carribbean island of Barbados officially became a republic as the clock struck midnight on Monday in an official ceremony as it removed the Queen as its head of state. Cutting ties with the crown comes 55 years after gaining independence from Britain and nearly 400 years after the island became part of the British Empire.
The ceremony was attended by familiar faces, including the Prince of Wales, 73, as well as the Barbadian singer, actress, fashion designer, and businesswoman, 33.
Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as president by the chief justice in the historic ceremony and she took the oath of allegiance to her country.
Also on Monday, Rihanna, who was born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, Barbados, was honoured as the country’s 11th national hero.
Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty and who is known for her many singles that have peaked on Billboard’s 200 chart as well as her Fenty and Fenty Beauty lines, may be the 11th person to receive the honour, but is only the second woman in Barbadian history.
Emilia wrote on Twitter: “Just like the republic of Barbados, Rihanna is also my national hero.”
Fan account @txpsykxng gushed: “I’ve been crying all day.
“Been a fan of this woman for so long. She deserves this honor.
“Everything she’s ever done was to make Barbados proud.”
Onlooking the transition was Prince Charles who gave a speech in honour of the monumental moment.
The future King said: “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.”