Barbados officially became a republic on November 30 and left the British monarchy. Barbados' first elected president, Sandra Mason, took office today. Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, attended the inauguration ceremony.
"The creation of a new republic is a new beginning. The people of this island have made their way with extraordinary fortitude from the darkest days of our past, the horrific and brutal slavery that has forever tainted our history," he said in his address, conveying best wishes from Queen Elizabeth II.
Authorities in Barbados also announced the state's national hero during Mason's inauguration. Singer Rihanna, who was born on the island, became it. In 2018, Rihanna was given the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the state.
Barbados is home to about 300,000 people. Since the 17th century, the state has been under the rule of the British monarchy. In 1966 Barbados gained independence from Britain, but remained a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II remained the official head of Barbados. She appointed the Governor General as her representative. In 2020, the authorities of the Caribbean island decided to completely abandon the subordination of the British monarchy.