The Republic of Barbados


As a multi billionaire with her own brand, Rihanna might as well be the queen of somewhere in the world. This week, she was named a national hero on the British Island of Barbados, fifty-five years after the island gained independence from the United Kingdom. The small island country — several hundred miles off the coast of Venezuela — is now a republic with a female prime minister and president, with only the best wishes from the British monarchy. 

Prince Charles spoke for the Queen when saying that the family gives the nation the “‘warmest wishes.’” He added that with their freedom, ““Tonight you write the next chapter of your nation’s story.’” Barbados is finally detached from a nation that colonized and enslaved many of their native citizens. The country’s reliance on Britain began when English colonizers took over in order to form sugar plantations to distribute the crops in Europe and the American colonies. They also sought to enslave many of the Natives in order to pursue this market as well as relocate  them to other countries and colonies around the world. Almost three hundred years later, Barbados finally reached independence from Britain in 1966 in order to be free from the Queen’s sovereignty. However, this still meant that they were a Constitutional, or Representative Monarchy and allowed for the British Royal Family to play a part in their economics and attach them to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is a small organization of member states that are connected through the English language, democracy, rule of law, and an affiliation to the United Kingdom. 

Sandra Mason became the first president of the nation on November 30 of 2021 on the nation’s fifty fifth anniversary of independence. Barbados is the last place in the Caribbean to remove the Queen as the head of state following . Their government consists of different political parties that all elect a representative in what is known as a representative democratic government. In 2018, the country elected representative Mia Mottley, from the Democratic Labour Party, to be their eighth prime minister and first female to serve in that position. Mottley was also the one to present artist Rihanna Fenty with a national hero award. Rihanna recently became one of the first self made billionaires with her skincare, makeup, and lingerie brands that she established after winning a plethora of awards for her music and songwriting. Mottley speaks for the people when giving her the honor of ‘National Hero of Barbados’ and ended her speech by saying “may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation.” This was a reference to her Billboard 100 song “Diamonds” from 2012. The artist was one of many people attending the ceremony that commemorated the new development in the nation’s history.

The nation held celebratory festivals that include dancing, food, and fireworks to commence the growth and freedom of the nation and its economy, as well as being one of the few to have a woman representing the head of state.