Barbados is officially a republic, having separated themselves from Queen Elizabeth II. The ceremony took place in Bridgetown, with the swearing in of Dame Sandra Mason as president.

Barbadan native Rihanna attended the ceremony, along with Prince Charles. The move comes on the 55th anniversary of the country announcing independence.

Barbados was settled by the English in 1627, and was used as a hub for the transatlantic slave trade for more than 200 years.

President Mason has been the governor-general of Barbados since 2018, and was elected by parliament in October.

“Vessel Republic Barbados has set sail on her maiden voyage,” Mason said during the ceremony. “May she weather all storms and land our country and citizens safely on the horizons and shores which are ahead of us.”

Prince Charles spoke about the positive relationship between the two countries, and hopes they can maintain that relationship. The last country to separate themselves from British rule was Mauritius, in 1992.