IN PICS | ‘Diamond’ Rihanna declared a national hero as Barbados ditches queen

01 December 2021 - 09:40 By Guy Faulconbridge and Brian Ellsworth
Rihanna attends the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony at Heroes Square on November 30, 2021 in Bridgetown, Barbados
Rihanna attends the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony at Heroes Square on November 30, 2021 in Bridgetown, Barbados
Image: Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images

Barbados declared hit singer Rihanna a national hero at its republican celebrations in her hometown Bridgetown.

Prime minister Mia Mottley announced to cheers that the 33-year-old would be conferred with the honour of National Hero of Barbados. Rihanna was called up before the crowds to be congratulated by Mottley.

“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions,” Mottley told Rihanna, a reference to her 2012 chart-topping single Diamonds.

Barbados prime minster Mia Mottley, left and president Dame Sandra Mason, right, honour Rihanna as a national hero during the ceremony in Heroes Square.
Barbados prime minster Mia Mottley, left and president Dame Sandra Mason, right, honour Rihanna as a national hero during the ceremony in Heroes Square.
Image: Jeff J Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

Barbados ditched Queen Elizabeth as head of state, forging a new republic on Tuesday with its first-ever president and severing its last remaining colonial bonds nearly 400 years after the first English ships arrived at the Caribbean island.

At the strike of midnight, the new republic was born to cheers from hundreds lining Chamberlain Bridge in the capital Bridgetown. A 21-gun salute was fired while the national anthem of Barbados was played over a crowded Heroes Square.

Rihanna, honoured as a National Hero, at the ceremony in Heroes Square.
Rihanna, honoured as a National Hero, at the ceremony in Heroes Square.
Image: Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, watched as Queen Elizabeth’s royal standard was lowered and the new Barbados was declared, a step which republicans hope will spur discussion of similar proposals in other former British colonies that have the queen as their sovereign.

Reuters


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