Barbados has bid adieu to one queen, and celebrated another as it officially becomes a republic.
Music superstar Rihanna attended the milestone event alongside the Caribbean Island’s leaders and heir to the British throne Prince Charles. The latter stood sombrely as the clock struck midnight on Tuesday, November 31, marking the moment the country stopped recognising Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
During the celebrations, Rihanna—wearing a stunning halterneck piece from the Bottega Veneta Salon 02 collection—was named a national hero of Barbados. As Prime Minister Mia Mottley said during his speech: “May you continue to shine like a diamond.”
Honestly, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
The announcement came via an investiture ceremony held especially for the 33-year-old—there’s no doubt she’s the country’s most well-known face with her talents stemming far beyond her iconic music.
Indeed, Mottley described how Rihanna had sparked the imagination of the world, “With her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth”.
“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,” she said.
It was a very apt moment given the singer and beauty mogul, who wore a stunning orange gown designed by Bottega Veneta, stood alongside real life royalty Prince Charles, who attended the celebrations for the new republic.
Barbados has spent more than 300 years under the British Monarch’s rule, largely maintaining a positive relationship with members of The Firm.
The royals have travelled to the Caribbean country several times on official tours. But breaking away from its rule marks an empowering step from the country’s “colonial past.”
After announcing its intention to become a republic in 2020, Governor-General, Dame Sandra Mason said in a statement: “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.”