The Daily Telegraph
Hongkongers treasured time with final monarch
“PRAY for the people of Hong Kong in heaven”, read a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II that was left at the British consulate this week.
Hong Kong is still under strict Covid rules with no public gatherings of more than four permitted and, since 2020, all anti-government protests have ceased.
However, that did not deter mourners who endured waits of up to three hours to sign a book of condolences for the late monarch, with some seizing the rare opportunity to voice dissent.
“You supported Hong Kong’s fight for democracy! We love you forever,” one well-wisher wrote.
No one knows the Covid law’s limits but given that both Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, and John Lee, Hong Kong’s new leader, expressed sympathy following the Queen passing, Hongkongers see her death as a permissible event to publicly mourn.
“I know the British are not the mighty, they are not the great,” said one woman at the consulate, crying behind her mask. “But I treasure the time.”
Again and again, people refer to happier days when the Queen’s portrait hung in classrooms and government buildings. Unlike in Britain, her birthday was a public holiday.
Her face was on the stamps and, very occasionally, you still find her on coins.
While Britain welcomes its new King, in Hong Kong there will never be a regal replacement.