Thursday, 17 September 2020

Arise Rihanna the First: Twitter users say singer should be new head of state of Barbados after island ditches Queen Elizabeth

 As Barbados announces plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state by the end of next year, social media users are calling for Barbadian singer Rihanna to replace her on the throne.

On Wednesday, the Caribbean island's government said that 'the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,' and that includes removing the Queen as head of state and becoming a republic by November 2021.

In response, dozens of social media users have taken to Twitter to proclaim that Rihanna — who was born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown — should be named queen. 

Royal: After it was announced that Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, dozens of people took to Twitter to say Barbadian singer Rihanna should be queen

Royal: After it was announced that Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, dozens of people took to Twitter to say Barbadian singer Rihanna should be queen

Moving on: On Wednesday, the Caribbean island's government announced plans to becoming a republic by November 2021. The Queen is pictured in Barbados in 1977

Moving on: On Wednesday, the Caribbean island's government announced plans to becoming a republic by November 2021. The Queen is pictured in Barbados in 1977 

'I’m calling it now. Rihanna for queen of Barbados!' one fan tweeted, sharing a GIF of the pop star placing a crown on her head. 

'Replace her with Rihanna, you cowards!' another insisted, while someone else asked: 'Can they replace her with Her Excellency Rihanna?' 

'All stand for the true Queen of Barbados, Rihanna,' one fan commented. 

Many agreed that when it comes to queens, Rihanna is the only one the nation needs. 

'Anyway. Barbados already has a Queen and her name is @rihanna,' noted Simon Naitram, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, which is located on the island. 

Future head of state? Rihanna fans thought the singer would the perfect replacement for Queen Elizabeth
Future head of state? Rihanna fans thought the singer would the perfect replacement for Queen Elizabeth

Future head of state? Rihanna fans thought the singer would the perfect replacement for Queen Elizabeth 

Fans: While Rihanna isn't technically queen, she is undisputedly the island's most famous resident, and she has been honored as such

Fans: While Rihanna isn't technically queen, she is undisputedly the island's most famous resident, and she has been honored as such

'Why would Barbados want the queen as the head of state when they could have Rihanna?' someone else asked.  

Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was a teenager living in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, when she was discovered by an American record producer and launched to international fame.  

And while Rihanna isn't technically queen, she is undisputedly the island's most famous resident, and she has been honored as such. 

In 2018, the singer was named 'Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiaryin' for Barbados, a role that involves promoting education, tourism, and investment. 

In 2018, Rihanna was named 'Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiaryin' for her home country. She is pictured at the Kadooment Day parade in Barbados in 2019

In 2018, Rihanna was named 'Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiaryin' for her home country. She is pictured at the Kadooment Day parade in Barbados in 2019 

Loved: Many agreed that when it comes to queens, Rihanna is the only one the nation needs

Loved: Many agreed that when it comes to queens, Rihanna is the only one the nation needs

When she accepted the new title, Rihanna said in a statement that she 'couldn't be more proud to take on such a prestigious title' in her home country.

'Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I'm ready and excited to take on the responsibility,' she added. 'I look forward to working with Prime Minister Mottley and her team to re-imagine Barbados.'

The superstar was also honored by having the street she grew up on renamed Rihanna Drive in her honor in 2017. 

On Wednesday, Barbados announced its intention to remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021.

World colliding: Rihanna was in Barbados with Prince Harry in 2019

World colliding: Rihanna was in Barbados with Prince Harry in 2019 

Looking back: The Queen is pictured with Governor-General of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason at Windsor Castle in 2018

Looking The Queen is pictured with Governor-General of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason at Windsor Castle in 2018

A speech written by Prime Minister Mia Mottley and read by Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason said: 'The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind. Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State.  

'This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving. Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence.'

Asked to comment on the Commonwealth country's plans a palace spokesman said: 'This is a matter for the government and people of Barbados.' 

The Prime Minister’s Office also agreed that it was a 'decision for Barbados and the government there,' but added that Britain will continue to 'enjoy a partnership' with the Caribbean island nation as members of the Commonwealth. 

Visits: Queen Elizabeth ll is pictured smiling with a young girl in Barbados on November 1, 1977
Visits: Queen Elizabeth ll is pictured on a walkabout during a visit to Bridgetown

Visits: Queen Elizabeth ll is pictured smiling with a young girl in Barbados on November 1, 1977 (left) and on a walkabout during a visit to Bridgetown (right)

Memories: The Queen and Prince Philip are pictured driving through Barbados while waving to the crowds in February 1966

Memories: The Queen and Prince Philip are pictured driving through Barbados while waving to the crowds in February 1966 

A Number 10 spokesman said: 'We obviously have a shared history and remain united with Barbados in terms of history, culture, and language, and we will continue to have and enjoy a partnership with them as members of the Commonwealth.'

The country gained its independence from Britain in 1966, though the Queen remains its constitutional monarch.

In 1998, a Barbados constitutional review commission recommended republican status, and in 2015 Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said, 'We have to move from a monarchical system to a republican form of government in the very near future.'

Most Caribbean countries have kept formal links with the monarchy after achieving independence.

Barbados would join Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, and Guyana if it proceeds with its plan to become a republic. 

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