Judging by the reaction of the crowd, it wasn’t clear who the biggest superstar was when Prince Harry and Rihanna shared the stage in Barbados last night.
The Royal was probably just eclipsed by the singer as they drew huge cheers when they were introduced for the 50th anniversary of the country’s Independence.
Harry and the Barbados-born singer were cheered by thousands as a night of music, dance and song began to mark the moment – November 30 1966 – the Caribbean country broke away from British rule to forge its own destiny.
He met the pop star earlier that afternoon at an event in Bridgetown. A senior aide said the Prince had only been informed 20 minutes beforehand that the singer was going to be there.
He could be heard introducing himself by saying: ‘Hello, it’s very nice to meet you.’
There he read a message of support from the Queen, saying, since its independence in 1966, Barbados had ‘continued to flourish and grow into a strong and confident nation’.
Harry had his own message, encouraging young people to tackle issues like climate change.
He told the concert crowds at the Kensington Oval cricket ground in the capital Bridgetown: ‘Your independence was a declaration of confidence in the future.
‘And 50 years on Barbados is a country rightfully proud of its vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty that attracts visitors from all over the world.’
Throughout the opening of the concert Harry and Rihanna sat next to each other on stage with prime minister, Fruendel Stuart, and his minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Maxine McClean.
When the prime minister welcomed the Royal on to the stage it drew a huge cheer from the crowd, some of who began chanting his name, causing the Royal to break into a smile.
But he was to be outdone by the pop star, who generated an even bigger response from the crowd when she was introduced.
During his speech, the Prince also said young people in Barbados face challenges like others around the world.
He told the crowd: ‘You look into the future and wonder how technology will change your lives. You wonder how you will obtain the skills and resources to compete in a rapidly changing world.
‘And I know that you worry about the impact climate change will have on island nations like yours.
‘What I say to you is this: the solutions to these challenges will not come from anyone else. The answers must come from you.
‘Good things happen to good people; believe you can make change; and if you lead by example, others will follow.’