There were plenty hugs and kisses to go around this morning as hundreds descended on Parliament building to experience first-hand the fanfare associated with the grand opening of a new session of the House of Assembly.
Loud cheers and screams also greeted members of the newly elected Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration as they made they way into the Upper Chamber.
However, unarguably the loudest and most sustained cheers were reserved for newly-elected Prime Minister Mia Mottley – the island’s first female leader – who made something of a rock star entry into the yard of Parliament in her chauffer-driven official car, an S-Class Mercedes Benz.
Mottley was splendidly turned out in a blue grey designer frock, but it was Governor General Dame Sandra Mason that had eyes dropping, resplendent as she always is – but today especially so today as she inspected the guard in an off white outfit, with matching hat and handbag before heading inside to deliver the traditional Throne Speech, which lasted an hour.
Brightly coloured dresses and skirt suits with matching handbags were also the rave today, with Members of Parliament (MPs) and Senators also wearing fascinators for that extra umph on what was undoubtedly a signal and stylistic moment for the new Government.
The men were also dapperly attired in their two piece suits, most with brightly coloured ties.
From as early as 8 a.m. eager onlookers braved the sweltering heat as they gathered for the special occasion, which began at 10 a.m. and lasted until 11:30 a.m.
“It is a good turnout with good sunshine,” said one woman, who opted to watch the event from the big screen at the north gate of Parliament.
“I will be here for the whole day,” she added.
Many expressed joy that Barbados had elected its first female Prime Minister.
However, there were some like Gozel Gollop, who stopped by on her way to work, just to see the MPs making their way in.
Meanwhile, Maxine Forde and Hyacinth Clarke, who were watching the proceedings from outside the walls of Parliament, told Barbados TODAY could not contain their excitement.
“This is an historic event. We will be here for the whole day,” shouted Forde.
“I am satisfied with the turnout. This is very historic and very wonderful,” added Clarke.
The buzz of excitement lasted well up to 10 o’clock as a number of the MPs and Senators were seen hurrying in at the very last minute with barely enough time to take their places.
The event, which was marked by a heavy police and military presence, was attended by a number of diplomats, leaders of civil society organizations, members of the trade union movement and business leaders.
A number of emergency response teams were also on hand.