Barbados Declares Rihanna a National Hero as It Cuts Ties With Queen Elizabeth II, Becomes a Republic

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Barbados is entering a new era with Rihanna as its National Hero. 

The Fenty founder received a high honor from her home country on Monday and was named a National Hero by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a ceremony marking the country's split from the British throne to become its own republic.

Rihanna, born in Barbados in 1988 as Robyn Rihanna Fenty, wore an orange silk dress from Bottega Veneta, strappy heels and a black face mask as she sat alongside top officials for the event, complete with military parades, a mounted guard of honor and gun salutes.

"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 the celebrity. "May you continue to shine like a diamond and continue to bring honor to your nation by your words, by your actions, and to do credit wherever you shall go."

Rihanna Named National Hero by Barbados
Getty Images/ Jonathan Brady-Pool

The "Diamonds" singer can now add 'The Right Honourable' before her name as a National Hero which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is an honor that has only been given to 11 people, with Rihanna being the second woman to receive it.

The Pride of Nationhood ceremony took place in Bridgetown, Barbados, and saw the Caribbean nation formally remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

"Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage," Dame Sandra Mason said in her inauguration speech as the first president of the country, according to CBS NewsThe former governor-general recognized the "complex, fractured and turbulent world" the new republic would need to navigate. "Our country must dream big dreams and fight to realize them."

The new era ends Britain's centuries of influence, including more than 200 years of slavery until 1834. Among those gathered for the ceremony was Prince Charles, who also spoke to the crowd during the handover and acknowledged the mark slavery had left on the two countries.

"From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude," he told the crowd.

Read more on Barbados' rise as the world's newest republic at CBS News

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