Rihanna was awarded the honor of Barbados National Hero on Tuesday, after the island nation ousted Queen Elizabeth II and declared itself an independent republic.
The pop singer was honored in her birthplace of Bridgetown, Barbados by Prime Minister Mia Mottley who referenced her 2012 song “Diamonds” during the ceremony.
“On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero for Barbados, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said.
“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation.”
Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles (far right), attended the ceremony, as the Queen was unable to travel due to recent health issues.
He said slavery was an “appalling atrocity which forever stains our history.”
Britain played a prominent role in enslaving Africans, many of whom were dropped off on the island nation on the way to North America.
On Tuesday the queen sent a congratulatory message to the country’s new president, Sandra Mason (4th from right), who was sworn in at midnight.
“I first visited your beautiful country on the eve of independence in early 1966, and I am very pleased that my son is with you today,” the British monarch said. She added that Barbadians had long “held a special place in my heart.”
Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has held the title of Ambassador for Culture and Youth in Barbados since 2018. The island’s residents continue to celebrate February 22 as “Rihanna Day.”
The 33-year-old singer is semi-retired from music and focuses on growing her billion-dollar makeup and fashion empire.