It will be the second time in my life to say goodbye to “ERII” on post boxes. When passed by this pillar box, I noticed the crown and remembered how I missed it in Hong Kong. After taking photo of it, a passerby smiled at me. He might not understand my mix of feelings as a Hongkonger, and thought I am one of the visitors or international students. I was mentally well prepared for the change in Hong Kong more than two decades ago, but I never thought I would experience it one more time in my life.
Differently, the monarchy is not replaced by something or someone else. Though there is a royal family in this country, they don't use the power to rule the people now. Her Majesty sacrificed her freedom of speech to serve as an icon of peace and charity. Not surprisingly, many generations of Hongkongers miss Queen Elizabeth II, because our cultures were respected in those good old days, though we were one of the colonies.
BBC Radio hosts talked about the queue in London on yesterday morning, described it as 'very British', and 'demonstrated dignity and decency' that was represented by Queen Elizabeth II. People in the Lying-in-State Queue are respectful, their patience amazed and touched me. The scene in London will be a chapter of history, which acknowledge the contribution of Her Majesty to the nation and the world.
In the meanwhile, thousands of Hongkongers also spent hours to queue up outside Hong Kong's British consulate to sign a condolence book and pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II under hot sun in the past few days. We, Hongkongers, made fun of our habit of queueing for decades, 'Queuing is the most favourite activity among Hong Kong people'. Every time I see pictures and flowers outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong, my mind drift back to the BBC hosts' description of the queue. It's 'very British', or 'very Hong Kong'? I wonder.
The connection and bonding between the UK and Hong Kong is there. History could not be erased or changed easily, cultures are deeply influenced already, as well as values.
I don't have much memory of the younger Queen, she was just a portrait on coins and banknotes. To me, her sense of humour is well known in her late life. I could imagine her grin, if she knows Hongkongers name her 'Si Tao Po' (Boss Lady) in those days. She would not mind our expression of respect in our down to earth native words.