8:46 AM PST, December 1, 2021
This is an independence celebration like none other. Prime Minister Mia Mottley feted Rihanna with the great honor of becoming a national hero of Barbados.
“We, therefore, present to you the designee for national hero of Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty,” Mottley said during the ceremony.
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions, and to do credit wherever you shall go. God bless you, my dear.”
The prestigious title comes as Barbados enters a monumental shift as the country is removing Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as the second head of state.
The move severs its last remaining colonial bonds nearly 400 years after the first English ships arrived at the Caribbean island, which is now a republic.
However, Barbados will remain loosely connected to Britain as part of the commonwealth.
“The creation of this republic offers a new beginning, but it also marks a point on a continuum,” Prince Charles said while on hand for the inauguration of President Sandra Mason.
“A milestone on the long road you have not only traveled but which you have built from the darkest days of our past and the appalling atrocity of slavery which forever stains our history.”
The dazzling ceremony coincides with Barbados’ 55th anniversary marking their independence.