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Rihanna has ‘arrived in Barbados for the inauguration of its first president’

Rihanna has ‘arrived in Barbados for the inauguration of its first president’, according to local media reports.

The singer, 33, who was born on the Caribbean island and appointed Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary by her home country’s government in 2018, is reportedly going to be among the dignitaries attending Tuesday’s ceremony.

Barbados will become the world’s newest republic as it removes the Queen as head of state after 55 years and swears in its first president, Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason.

Local media Kevz Politics tweeted this evening: ‘Multiple media reports indicate that Ambassador Robyn @rihanna Fenty has landed in Barbados and is listed among dignitaries to be present tonight for the Inauguration of Barbados’ first President Dame Sandra Mason.’

MailOnline has yet to confirm whether Rihanna is in Barbados, and will attend the inauguration. 

Rihanna (pictured) has ‘arrived in Barbados for the inauguration of its first president’, according to local media reports

The singer, 33, who was born on the Caribbean island and appointed Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary by her home country's government in 2018, is said to be among the dignitaries attending Tuesday's ceremony. Pictured, Dame Sandra Mason in 2018

The singer, 33, who was born on the Caribbean island and appointed Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary by her home country’s government in 2018, is said to be among the dignitaries attending Tuesday’s ceremony. Pictured, Dame Sandra Mason in 2018

MailOnline has contacted Rihanna’s representatives for comment.

In 2018, Rihanna was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary in her home country.

Her specific responsibility in this post is to ‘promote education, tourism and investment for the island’.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles flew into the Caribbean on the ministerial jet Voyager late on Sunday night, and was greeted by a large diplomatic party led by Britain’s high commissioner to Barbados, Scott Furssedonn-Wood.

Barbadian prime minister Mia Motley and military chiefs lined a red carpet and were introduced to the prince. Also part of the welcoming group was a Guard of Honour and military band, and a deafening 21-gun salute rang out across the Grantley Adams International Airport to mark the prince’s arrival.

In a speech at just after midnight in Bridgetown tonight, the Prince of Wales will highlight the shared goals and enduring bonds between Barbados and the UK during a ceremony marking the Caribbean country’s transition to a republic. The Royal Standard will then be lowered and the Presidential Standard will fly from the flag pole instead.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles (pictured) flew into the Caribbean on the ministerial jet Voyager late on Sunday night, and was greeted by a large diplomatic party led by Britain's high commissioner to Barbados, Scott Furssedonn-Wood

Meanwhile, Prince Charles (pictured) flew into the Caribbean on the ministerial jet Voyager late on Sunday night, and was greeted by a large diplomatic party led by Britain’s high commissioner to Barbados, Scott Furssedonn-Wood 

Prince of Wales is greeted by Dame Sandra Mason as he arrives in Barbados

Prince of Wales is greeted by Dame Sandra Mason as he arrives in Barbados

The prince was present during the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and he represented the Queen when Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980.  

Barbados will remain a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, a organisation of former British colonies which is headed by Queen Elizabeth II. Charles will also receive the Freedom of Barbados, awarded for extraordinary service to the country, the Caribbean diaspora or to humanity at large.

But demonstrations are also expected during the day with some Bajans demanding an apology and reparations from the monarchy and UK Government for slavery. However, there are also concerns among some of the island’s population that the issue was not put to a referendum. Barbados’ constitution allowed its political leaders to pursue independence without a vote.   

The Queen has been Barbados’s head of state since it became independent in 1966 but the issue of becoming a republic has been discussed at national level during the following decades with the process beginning in 1998. Until Tuesday, Barbados is one of the Queen’s 16 realms – countries where she is head of state – and in the Caribbean region other countries include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent. 

Charles will also tell the nation it is ‘important’ for him to attend the event, being staged in the capital Bridgetown, to ‘reaffirm those things which do not change’ as the major constitutional shift takes place.

The heir to the throne will deliver his address just after midnight, local time, as Barbados begins a new chapter in its history on November 30 – the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain – after its first president Dame Sandra Mason is sworn in.

The Queen is pictured meeting Dame Sandra Mason in a file picture. Dame Sandra will replace the Queen as head of state

The Queen is pictured meeting Dame Sandra Mason in a file picture. Dame Sandra will replace the Queen as head of state

Barbados’s decision to remove the Queen as head of state will be watched closely by other members of the Commonwealth especially in the Caribbean region.

During the ceremony in National Heroes Square, Charles is expected to say: ‘As your constitutional status changes, it was important to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change.’

He will go on to give examples of the ties that will remain – ‘the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as vital members of the Commonwealth’ and ‘our common determination to defend the values we both cherish and to pursue the goals we share’.

Charles is also expected to celebrate the cultural, social and economic bonds between the UK and Barbados, ‘the myriad connections between the people of our countries – through which flow admiration and affection, co-operation and opportunity – strengthening and enriching us all’.

Barbados is following other Caribbean nations who have also dispensed with the Queen as their head of state, with Guyana becoming a republic in 1970, Trinidad and Tobago following in 1976 and Dominica two years later.

In recent years Jamaica has also flagged it wants an elected head of state, with Prime Minister Andrew Holness saying it is a priority of his government, but has yet to achieve it.

Charles is also expected to talk about reaffirming the friendship he has had with the island since he first visited 50 years ago and praise the invaluable contribution of the Barbadian diaspora in the UK.

During the ceremony, service personnel will march past the prince and give their final salute to the monarchy before the Queen’s standard is lowered and the presidential flag raised.


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