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Rihanna Declared National Hero of Barbados As Nation Severs Ties With British Rule

R&B/pop superstar Rihanna became a hero of her home country Barbados as the island nation finally shed a vestige of its colonial past.
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - NOVEMBER 30: Rihanna, honored as a National Hero, attends the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony at Heroes Square on November 30, 2021 in Bridgetown, Barbados. The Prince of Wales arrived in the country ahead of its transition to a republic within the Commonwealth. This week, it formally removes Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and the current governor-general, Dame Sandra Mason, will be sworn in as president. (Photo by Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images)
By Rivea Ruff · November 30, 2021

Rihanna just received a huge high honor from her home country. 

The R&B/Pop superstar was awarded with the recognition of National Hero by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley during the country’s first Presidential Inauguration on Monday night. 

“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,” Prime Minister Mottley told the billionaire songstress, in a lighthearted nod to her 2012 R&B ballad, “Diamonds.”

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS – NOVEMBER 30: Singer Rihanna looks on at the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony at Heroes Square on November 30, 2021 in Bridgetown, Barbados. The Prince of Wales arrived in the country ahead of its transition to a republic within the Commonwealth. This week, it formally removes Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and the current governor-general, Dame Sandra Mason, will be sworn in as president. (Photo by Toby Melville – Pool/Getty Images)

This honor comes as the Caribbean Commonwealth formally severed ties with Great Britain. The island nation has had its independence from England since 1966, however, Queen Elizabeth II has continued to serve as its head of state since then. 

In a ceremony officiated by the Prime Minister and attended by Prince Charles, the island nation officially became its own republic, no longer pledging allegiance to the queen and instead appointing Sandra Mason as its new president. 

Charles, Prince of Wales, took the opportunity to renounce the inhumane practice of chattel slavery that brought the United Kingdom into power over the country of Barbados in the first place. He acknowledged the transatlantic slave trade as the “darkest days of our past” which “forever stains our history,” calling the practice of enslaving Africans and trading them for material goods an “appalling atrocity.”

Barbados’s Prime Minister Mia Mottley (L) asks the country’s new President Sandra Mason (seated R) to make Barbadian singer Rihanna (C) the country’s 11th National Hero during a ceremony to declare Barbados a republic and the inauguration of the country’s first president, at Heroes Square in Bridgetown on November 30, 2021. (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP) (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Rihanna was given the honorable designation that, according to a statement from Barbados’ government, recognizes her as one of the public figures that have played a major role in positively changing Barbados. Already named an Ambassador to her native land in 2018. She will now be known as The Right Excellent Robyn Rihanna Fenty and will be honored every April 28th in her home nation on National Heroes Day. 

“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,” Prime Minister Mottley declared to Rihanna. The singer noticeably smile from behind a black face mask, accepting her honor while outfitted in an orange silk Bottega Veneta gown.