Barbados Island finally removed Queen Elizabeth as its head of state by becoming a republic.

The last time the queen was removed as head of state was in 1992, when the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius proclaimed itself a republic.

So on Monday in an overnight ceremony held in the capital city, Bridgetown, Dame Sandra was sworn in as president.

The Prince of Wales and Barbadian singer Rihanna attended the event, which coincided with the country’s 55th anniversary of independence.

And in a speech, Prince Charles acknowledged the “appalling atrocity of slavery” the Caribbean island suffered.

To signify the official change of power, a final salute was made to the British monarchy. And the Royal Standard flag was lowered and replaced.

Fireworks displayed during the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony at Heroes Square on November 30, 2021 in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Rihanna honored

During the event, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that the 33-year-old Barbadian musician and entrepreneur would be conferred with the honor of National Hero of Barbados.

Rihanna, was called up before the crowds to be congratulated by Mottley and citizens.

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

Mottley said the artist had commanded “the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence with her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth”.

By Wanjiru Mbaru

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