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LIVE LINK to Barbados’ 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations as Rihanna meets Prince Harry
Pop superstar Rihanna teased Prince Harry when they both volunteered for HIV tests to highlight World Aids Day.
The pair have taken the tests in Bridgetown on the island of Barbados as his tour of the Commonwealth island comes to a close.
Rihanna joked that the test was 'so easy' after Harry warned her it would be painful and winced when his blood was taken.
Both Rihanna and the prince tested negative after waiting 20 minutes at the HIV drop-in centre which targets men.
Pop superstar Rihanna teased Prince Harry when they both volunteered for HIV tests to highlight World Aids Day
The prince has been campaigning for a number of months to encourage more people to come forward and be tested for the illness, which can now be managed with drugs
Prince Harry felt some pain when a sample of his blood was taken for the HIV test at Bridgetown on the Caribbean island
Singer Rihanna sticks her tongue out as she has her blood taken at the 'Man Aware' event held by the Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission
Red, not blue! A sample of Prince Harry's blood is taken by a medic for the simple HIV test on World Aids Day (left). The medic prepares Rihanna's finger so she can take the blood for a sample to be tested alongside Prince Harry (right)
Both Rihanna and the prince tested negative after waiting 20 minutes at the HIV drop-in centre which targets men
Rihanna and Prince Harry were both given a piece of cotton wool to dab their fingers after the blood was taken for the test
The intimate moment came after the pair had sat side by side in the early hours of this morning during a concert
The prince had teased the singer that the test would be painful and winced as the needle went into his finger
While talking to local people about HIV, Harry said: ‘We are all sexual beings…It is also normalising testing - it is the responsible, cool thing to do to know your status.’
He added that while the ‘birds and the bees conversation' happened in Britain, 'HIV is not part of that’.
Flattering superstar Rihanna, he told her she had ‘such an incredible reach’ and was ‘so respected’.
Harry, 32, persuaded the 28-year-old Bajan superstar to take the test in public with him today when the pair chatted backstage for 15 minutes last night after the prince delivered a speech at a concert to celebrate Barbados' 50th anniversary.
It was the second time that Harry had taken a test in public in five months in an attempt to reduce the stigma surrounding the virus.
Prince Harry was photographed wearing a shirt with his name on it today. He was visited the 'Nature Fun Ranch' in St Andrew, Barbados
The ranch allows young people to speak freely with one another about important topics, including HIV/AIDS
Teams at the ranch aim to provide children with a 'positive focus' to guide their lives in the right direction
The prince had teased the singer that the test would be painful and winced as the needle went into his finger.
Seconds later, Rihanna proved that she was tougher than the prince, saying: 'You made it seem like it hurts.
'It's not as painful as you said this morning.'
Speaking after the test, Rihanna said: 'I am very positive about what you are doing here.'
The singer, born and raised in Barbados, turned up in a Jeep she drove herself and was not noticed until a few minutes after she arrived.
Prince Harry and Susette Neblett-Straughn from the Ministry of Health HIV Program at the centre for men with the condition
Rihanna and Prince Harry attend the 'Man Aware' event held by the Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission on the eleventh day of an official visit
The prince and Rihanna pose with volunteers during the 'Man Aware' event held by the Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados
It was hoped that by getting Rihanna to be part of today's test, the stigma around HIV would be changed in the Caribbean
A Kensington Palace spokesman said Prince Harry's involvement in the Man Aware event was a 'really positive thing to do' and had only been arranged the night before
While they waited for their results, the pair spent 20 minutes touring stalls set up in aid of the campaign
Of the pin prick test, she said: 'This is so easy.'
It was hoped that by getting Rihanna to be part of today's test, the stigma around HIV would be changed in the Caribbean.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: 'This is a really positive thing to do. This was only arranged last night.
'Prince Harry asked her at the concert. They spoke after he had given his speech. They spoke for about 15 minutes.
'She was very happy to do it. She has had people in her life that she has known who have died from AIDS. She said this is important and she wanted to do this.
'She has tens of millions of followers on social media alone. Her people are confident that she can reach a billion people through social media.'
Harry, 32, persuaded the 28-year-old Bajan superstar to take the test in public with him today when the pair chatted backstage for 15 minutes last night
FLOODING WAS REPORTED ALL ACROSS THE ISLAND. (PHOTO: BARBADOS TODAY)
Overcast skies loomed ominously over Barbados today, still damp from yesterday’s heavy downpours described by some citizens as an unwelcomed birthday surprise.
The dark sky poured out its contents for hours on end yesterday, drenching the island which was gearing for a grand climax to its 50th Independence celebrations.
The deluge held just before British Prince Harry arrived at the Bridgetown Port to a red carpet welcome befitting royalty. Once he was ferried off to meeting with the island’s Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, the interaction between a trough system and the Tropical Convergence Zone made its presence.
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Houses, businesses and roads were left under water, trees were uprooted and power lines toppled.
The Department of Emergency Management (DEM) said it had been monitoring the system which also battered St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica, but it was unprepared for the impact.
“We saw the effects in Dominica and St Vincent, but we did not anticipate that it would hit us for the entire day, nor did we foresee the amount of rain which fell,” programme officer at the Department of Emergency Management Danielle Skeete told the Barbados Today online newspaper.
The system dumped between three to six inches of rain on the island, forcing the early closure of schools and government offices as well the postponement of iconic national events including the grand Independence parade, which was slated for this morning.
Emergency personnel, including officers from the Barbados Fire Service, had to brave the persistent showers to rescue more than a dozen people who were marooned in their homes and at least another two trapped in their vehicles.
A preliminary report issued by the DEM yesterday evening revealed that nine homes were damaged as a result of flooding in St George, Christ Church, St Philip and St Michael, while downed utility poles were also reported in St Thomas and St Philip. This resulted in power outages in St Philip; Warrens, St Michael; and parts of Christ Church.
Today, crews from the Barbados Light & Power were still working feverishly in St Philip, St Thomas, St Andrew and St Joseph to restore electricity.
Meanwhile, personnel were busy at the Garrison Savannah under threatening skies to ready the historic landmark for the 50th Anniversary National Independence Monument and Golden Anniversary Spectacular Mega Concert, featuring international star Rihanna singing the National Anthem.
Both events will be attended by Prince Harry who delivered a message on behalf of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on the occasion of the island’s Independence anniversary.
Prince Harry came face-to-face with music royalty today when he met Rihanna in Barbados.
The royal, who is currently enjoying a two-week tour of the Caribbean, looked delighted to be introduced to the songstress at an event marking 50 years of the country's independence on Wednesday.
A smartly-dressed Harry was attending Prime Minister Freundel Stuart's Toast to the Nation at St Ann's Fort where the pair were pictured shaking hands.
Harry looks delighted to be introduced to the songstress at an event marking 50 years of Barbados' independence on Wednesday
Barbadian beauty Rihanna, who is rumoured to be newly-single after splitting with Drake, stunned in a pale blue V-neck dress and gold bangles, with her hair tied back into a ponytail.
Harry subsequently took to the stage to deliver a message from The Queen congratulating Barbados on their anniversary, which read: 'Prince Philip and I send our warmest wishes to the Government and the people of Barbados.
'Our countries have a shared history, shared values and an affection which continues to bind us.'
Keen not to miss out on the festivities, the Queen herself sent out a tweet from the Royal Family's official Twitter account which read: 'On this day of celebration, I send my congratulations to you on your Golden Jubilee of Independence.'
A smartly-dressed Harry was attending Prime Minister Freundel Stuart's Toast to the Nation at St Ann's Fort where the pair were pictured shaking hands
Barbadian beauty Rihanna stunned in a pale blue V-neck dress and gold bangles, with her long hair tied back into a ponytail
The Queen sent out a tweet from the Royal Family's Twitter account which read: 'On this day of celebration, I send my congratulations to you on your Golden Jubilee of Independence'
The meeting comes after a busy morning for the prince, who earlier shared his caring side as he chatted to sick children at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown following a last-minute change of schedule.
As well as chatting to staff and young patients, Harry thanked health workers for working over Independence Day, a national holiday.
He was seen cooing over a newborn baby and also spent time talking to a young girl who was bed-bound and trapped into a nasal cannula.
According to the Kensington Palace Twitter account, he even got a hug from one of the youngsters staying on the Paedriatric Ward.
Harry chats to a youngster at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, after touching down in Barbados yesterday. He first visited the hospital on his last visit to the country in 2010
Harry meets a baby in his mother's arms as he spends time chatting to staff and patients. He also thanked medical staff for working over Independence Day
Harry chats to a youngster in the Paedriatric Ward, which his grandmother the Queen visited 50 years ago. The little boy later gave Harry a hug in front of cameras
The fifth-in-line to the throne visited Barbados in January 2010 when he met with locals and dignitaries, ate spicy food alongside Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, and famously danced the calypso on stage during a charity concert.
On his first visit to the hospital he was pictured cooing over seven-week-old Jean-Luc Jordan. His grandmother the Queen also visited the hospital in February 1966, and today a plaque honouring her visit hangs on the wall.
Harry is nearing the end of his 15-day tour of the Caribbean which has so far taken him to St Kitt's and Nevis, Grenada and St Lucia. He will finish in Guyana with a special visit to the country's President David Granger.
Making friends: Harry tries to get a smile out of the little girl as he makes his way around the hospital, as he approaches the final leg of his 15-day tour of the Caribbean
Back again: On Harry's first visit to the hospital six years ago he was pictured cooing over seven-week-old Jean-Luc Jordan, and today he was just as keen to meet the young patients
His trip coincides with Barbados' 50th year of independence as well as the 50th Anniversary of Independence for Guyana, and the 35th Anniversary of Independence for Antigua and Barbuda.
Yesterday the prince was greeted by drizzle that quickly turned to heavy rainfall as he touched down in Barbados.
A line of dignitaries holding umbrellas were there to greet him at the port - but unfortunately there was not one going spare for the prince.
Harry stepped off RFA Wave Knight tanker on Tuesday morning after spending his final night on board.
As well as chatting to staff and young patients, Harry thanked health workers for working over Independence Day, a national holiday
Harry grins as he chats to staff working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown
On arrival, Harry was greeted by Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and the Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, while Naresa McRwray-Williams, 16, presented the Prince with flowers for his buttonhole.
The rain soon became a torrential downpour and when the Prince held a formal meeting with Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, he joked Harry had 'brought bad English weather with him to Barbados', adding: 'We have our own bad habits.'
He joked with Sir Elliott, saying: 'I hope there will be tarpaulins later,' in reference to the open-air unveiling of the 50th Anniversary of Independence National Monument.
The evening event was broadcast live from the Garrison Savannah, the site where Barbados independence was born at midnight on November 30 1966.
Far from being given special treatment, Harry was taken in as one of the sailors on board RFA Wave Knight, enjoying the same food and given access to the bars, common areas and dining rooms.
Only days before his arrival, some were not even aware of who their guest, known as a ‘VVIP', was.
Meals during Harry’s time at sea, ranged from garlic and mushroom risotto, a soup of the day and a Sunday roast. 'The prince ate the same food as everyone else,’ Wave Knight's captain Nigel Budd said.
Although there are three bars on the ship with drinks as cheap as 65p for a gin and tonic and £1.00 for a pint, the prince is said to have been on his best behaviour, spending many nights going to bed early. He had little free time for socialising with his days filled with royal engagements.
Next to the bar there is huge bell and whoeve r rings it must buy everyone a drink. There are also quiz nights, a darts board and in sunny weather - BBQs are sometimes held on deck.
Mr Budd said: ‘There are strict drinking rules and you can be breathalysed at any time.'
Harry was taken in as one of the sailors on board RFA Wave Knight, enjoying the same food and given access to the bars, common areas and dining rooms (left, his cabin)
But Harry, 32, did find time to watch a spot of rugby in one of the ship’s communal areas. His room, the captain’s cabin, also had a flat screen television where he could enjoy Sky Sports and keep up with the news.
The cabin we visited, which belongs to a senior officer, had a living area, bathroom and bedroom with a small window looking onto the ocean.
Wave Knight, which is 643ft long and 104ft wide, is an RFA vessel which provides fuel and ammunition to navy ships and has been sailing through the Caribbean since August.
One of its most important roles is disaster relief for overseas territories - helping those stranded in events such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
Mr Budd, said: ‘(In previous hurricanes) as the storm went through, we were the first thing they could see. We can send boats in to help. We are quite a fast ship, we can get quite close to the shore.'
At any point during the tour, Wave Knight could have been diverted to help those in need and the royal party would have had to find alternative accommodation.