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Barbados becomes a republic

© Filip Fuxa / Shutterstock

The Caribbean nation of Barbados officially became a republic and is no longer under the authority of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, attended the event as a representative of the monarchy. He confirmed that relations between the countries would continue despite the change in status.

During the ceremony in Bridgetown, the inauguration of the island's first president, Governor General Sandra Mason, was held. The British flag was also lowered and replaced with the standard of the new republic.

Singer and businesswoman Rihanna, who was born in Barbados, attended the celebration. She was honored as a national hero.

Ever since the first English ship docked here in 1625, the island of Barbados has been under the rule of the British monarchy. Slavery flourished in the XVII century and was abolished only in the early XIX century. In 1966, Barbados became an independent state and one of the Commonwealth kingdoms under Elizabeth II.