Rihanna stuns at ceremony with Prince Charles to mark Barbados becoming a republic

Barbados has entered a new era as a republic bringing the Queen’s position as head of state over the island to an end after 55 years.

An inaugural ceremony took place marking the occasion on Tuesday, 29 November, in Bridgetown, the capital of the Caribbean country, welcoming in Barbados’ first president, Dame Sandra Mason.

In attendance to witness the historic event was Prince Charles – who was representing his mother, the Queen – prime minister Mia Mottley and ambassador of the island, Rihanna.

The singer – who was born in St Michael, Barbados – made quite the entrance as she joined in celebrating her home country’s momentous transition, wearing an orange off-the-shoulder long dress with a wraparound detail at the neckline.

During the ceremony, the 33-year-old was presented with Barbados’ honourable National Hero award by PM Mia Mottley which she appeared humble to receive as the second woman after religious leader Sarah Ann Gill in 1866.

"On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero for Barbados, ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty," the PM said.

"May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions.”

Rihanna was raised in Barbados up until the age of 16, when she left for New York to embark on her music career after being signed to Jay-Z’s label Def Jam in the mid-2000s.

Rihanna has gone on to achieve billionaire-status after becoming exceedingly successful with her other ventures alongside singing building beauty and clothing brands.

The Diamonds singer has given back to Barbados following her achievements, notably establishing the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, which funds educational systems and emergency services on the island and in other countries.

Acknowledging Barbados’ troubled colonial past, Prince Charles at the ceremony referenced in a speech the British monarchy's leading involvement in the transatlantic slave trade in Barbados, before stating his wishes for better future ties with the island.

“From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our histories, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude,” he said.

"Emancipation, self-government and independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides."

The Prince of Wales passed on the Queen's message for Barbados as the country moves forward as a republic, sending her "good wishes for happiness, peace and prosperity in the future."

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