Rihanna was named a National Hero by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a ceremony marking the country’s split from the United Kingdom after nearly 400 years.
“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,” the prime minister told Rihanna in a clip shared to social media.
Barbados has been under the queen’s rule for nearly 400 years and transitioned to a Republic for the first time ever.
Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, was also in attendance at the ceremony, where he spoke about Britain’s grim history of slavery.
The ceremony was held on an island as the new republic swore in its’ first president Sandra Mason, who also happens to be a woman. President Sandra Mason was a former Governor General, per @nytimes.
The eventful ceremony featured a 21-gun salute as the national anthem played and later the royal flag was lowered for the final time.
Bridgetown, which is also Rihanna’s hometown, was chosen as the best location to award the young billionaire with a high honour.
Barbados Prime Minster Mia Mottley named Rihanna a National Hero. She is reportedly the second woman to be honoured among a group of 11. The superstar accepted her new title in a stunning Bottega Veneta dress.
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions and to do credit wherever you shall go,” Mottley added, referring to Rihanna’s 2012 hit “Diamonds.”
“Today, debate and discourse have become action, President Mason said. “Today, we set our compass to a new direction.”