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The island nation of Barbados is now officially independent. The Republic of Barbados ditched Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state and on Tuesday as their new President was sworn in.


The last time the Queen was removed as the head of state of a country was back in 1992. Then the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius pronounced itself to be a republic and not under British reign anymore. 


At the inauguration, the new President Dame Sandra Mason announced that the singer Rihanna is the country's National Hero. The local pop star who has made a big name for herself internationally was hailed for her musical influence on the world and for putting Barbados on the cultural map with her successful singing career. 


During her speech, President Mason said that she hopes Rihanna will continue to "shine bright like a diamond". 


While Mauritius and Barbados are both independent, 15 other countries are still under British reign. This includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and The Solomon Islands. 


Image credit: Japan Times

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