RFMF’s Chandra At Buckingham Palace Event
Asenior non-commissioned officer with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces studying at Oxford University in England was delighted to be nominated by Fiji’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Jitoko Tikolevu to attend the Queen’s Garden Party at the Buckingham Palace lawn on May 15.
The garden party, the first in a series this year, heralds the start of the summer season. Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Betty Chandra was one of the four Fijian students nominated by Mr Tikolevu.
“There was another Fijian student, whom I did not meet, who was to have attended; there are another two garden parties left in London. Two other Fijian students were nominated as well to attend the second one,” she said.
WO1 Chandra said she was among 8000 guests who mingled on the palace grounds during the garden party. The Queen was joined by the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex on the palace lawns for the garden party heralding the start of the summer season which includes Royal Ascot and Trooping the Colour.
Garden parties have been held at Buckingham Palace since the 1860s when Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth’s great great grandmother, began what were known as “breakfasts”, although they took place in the afternoon.
Today the Queen hosts three garden parties a year at Buckingham Palace and one at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, with more than 30,000 people attending in total. WO1 Chandra, who works as administration personnel at the Commander’s Office at Strategic Head Quarters, Berkeley Crescent, is studying at the Oxford University, pursuing the Programme in Diplomatic Services at the university.
There are four fulltime courses to the programme: Diplomatic Practice; International Politics; International Trade and Finance and Public International Law.
Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Betty Chandra was one of the four Fijian students nominated by Mr Tikolevu.
Betty Chandra sitting on the Buckingham Palace lawn. Inset is a copy of her invitation card.