Rihanna is hailed as ‘an icon’ by her new Royal fan

Prince Charles has praised Rihanna as a ‘global style icon’.

The Prince of Wales said Barbados-born Rihanna was one of a number of hugely influential women from the island – including the Governor General and the nation’s Prime Minster.

Charles, 70, was speaking in Barbados during a tour of the Commonwealth Caribbean’s Commonwealth nations.

He told a reception in the capital: ‘Barbados offers an inspirational example through the remarkable number of women in positions of national leadership: not only the Governor-General and the Prime Minister, but also the leader of the other main political party, as well as the Director of Public Prosecutions.

‘And then, of course, there is arguably the most famous living Bajan of all – 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!'[

He added: ‘The influence and leadership of Barbados is felt particularly keenly in the Commonwealth, which binds together 2.4 billion of us, across fifty-three countries on six continents, united by our shared experience and shared values.

‘As we celebrate the Commonwealth’s 70th birthday this year, it seems to me that our Commonwealth family remains as vital today as it has ever been – bringing us together to address urgent global challenges, such as climate change, and rapid urbanization and youth unemployment, with sixty percent of the population of the Commonwealth being under 30.’

He also stressed the need for the Commonwealth to lead the debate on climate change.