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Prince Charles names Rihanna a ‘global style icon’ on Barbados visit

The Independent logo The Independent 20/3/2019 Olivia Petter
Rihanna, Prince Charles posing for a picture © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

The Prince of Wales has given Rihanna the royal seal of approval by describing the musician as a “global style icon” and “one of the most influential recording artists of her generation”.

Prince Charles made the remarks in a speech he delivered at an evening reception hosted by the governor general in Barbados on Tuesday 19 March.

The 70-year-old royal said that the country was an “inspirational example” of women in prominent leadership roles. The prime minister, the governor general and the director of public prosecutions in Barbados are all women.

“And then, of course, there is arguably the most famous living Bajan of all,” he added, “from her childhood in Bridgetown, Rihanna has gone on to be one of the most influential recording artists of her generation and a global style icon – or so my son, Harry, tells me, anyway!”

Prince Charles is in Barbados for a tour of the Commonwealth Caribbean with the Duchess of Cornwall.

During his speech, he also touched on how Barbados is setting an example with its stance on climate change and protecting the ocean.

“We have, at last, some might say somewhat belatedly, started to understand just how critical the ocean's health is to our survival but also, ladies and gentlemen, how vulnerable it is to climate change and over-exploitation,” he said.

Prince Charles went on to quote figures from the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which says that global warming of 1.5C poses a severe threat to coral reefs.

“I was therefore delighted to learn that the government of Barbados has made significant strides in planning for a Marine Protected Area around the island which, when enacted, will do much to protect the pristine coastline upon which so much of your economy depends.”

The royal concluded his speech by praising the citizens of Barbados for their hospitality.

“You have much to be proud of,” he added, “and, for my part, I can only say how much pride I take in the close bond between my own family and the people of this very special island.”

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