Queen Elizabeth Remembered in Former Colony Hong Kong
Many Hong Kong citizens have taken to social media to mourn Queen Elizabeth II, a woman fondly known as the “lady patron” among the senior residents of a city that was one of Britain’s last colonies.
Elizabeth visited Hong Kong twice during her reign, while her son – current King Charles III – was present for delivery to China in 1997.
“My grandmother who raised me always talked about the ‘boss’, I heard so much about her that she felt like family … Today it’s like a family member has died,” wrote Facebook user Vincent Lam.
“It’s the end of an era … Thank you for your lifelong dedication,” read another post on the Hong Kong Facebook group Reminiscence which garnered nearly 4,000 likes hours after Elizabeth’s death, including the news widespread overnight in the city.
Britain has seen two major waves of immigration to Hong Kong in recent decades: the first as the handover approaches, and the second in the past two years as China suppresses political dissent.
Many of those who responded during the night did so from their new homes.
“She (always has) our greatest respect … I will miss her,” said Lok Cheung, a popular Hong Kong tech YouTuber who recently emigrated to Britain.
“Hong Kong Worker”, a cartoonist who went ahead too, drew a sign of himself saying to the queen, “Thank you for giving us a Hong Kong that was once beautiful.”
Britain’s colonial record in Hong Kong is attracting mixed views to the city.
During the colonial era, Beijing loyalists and Hong Kong Democrats campaigned against British control.
However, many supporters of democracy came to view the British era more favorably once authoritarian China began to take control of the city.
Small groups even waved colonial flags in massive protests in 2019 that angered Beijing.
China has imposed a broad national security law following the protests and has cracked down on any action it deems “foreign collusion”, which could make Elizabeth II’s mourning in Hong Kong risky amid the climate. current.
Nathan Law, a prominent pro-democracy politician who now lives in Britain and is wanted by Hong Kong police under the security law, said the queen still holds a special place in the hearts of many Hong Kongers. .
“The queen is loved by millions of Hong Kongers,” he wrote on Twitter.
China has reacted angrily to British criticism of Hong Kong, including London’s decision to offer millions of Hong Kongers a path to citizenship due to the ongoing crackdown.
But current Hong Kong leader John Lee made a conciliatory statement after Elizabeth II’s death.
“She was highly respected, admired and praised by the British people,” Lee said.
“We send our deepest condolences to the people of the United Kingdom at this time of national mourning and reflection.”