The Bridgetown-born megastar was crowned with the title on Tuesday (November 30) after the island officially cut ties with Queen Elizabeth II, ending nearly 400 years of British rule, and swore in its first president, Sandra Mason.
Rihanna has been an ambassador for Barbados since 2018, and is the country’s 11th national hero, but only the second woman to receive the title, becoming The Right Honourable Robyn Rihanna Fenty during a historic ceremony.
Presenting the award, Prime Minister Mia Motley said: “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. May you continue to shine like a diamond.”
Barbados follows other Caribbean nations who have removed Queen Elizabeth as their head of state, such as Guyana which became a republic in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago (1976), and Dominica (1978). The Queen remains head of state in several others including Jamaica, Grenada, The Bahamas, Belize, and St Lucia.
“Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage,” Mason said in her presidential inauguration speech, recognising the “complex, fractured and turbulent world” it would need to navigate.
Revisit our 30th anniversary cover feature with Rih-Rih here.