Mark Hampton
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The uses of monarchy in late-colonial Hong Kong, 1967–97
in Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia
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For most of its history, the Hong Kong colonial government did not make systematic use of the symbolism of monarchy. Following a serious challenge to colonial rule in 1967, this changed. During the last thirty years of colonial rule, both the Hong Kong government and the authorities in London attempted to harness the aura of Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family. This chapter examines this phenomenon chiefly through royal visits and their reception by Hong Kong’s Chinese-language press. It argues that the changing uses of monarchy reflected the current position of the British in Hong Kong, as well as the state of Sino-British relations. Accordingly, a proposed visit in the late 1960s did not happen, the 1975 royal visit concentrated on attempting to rebuild the legitimacy of the colonial government, and the 1986 visit, occurring after the negotiation of Britain’s exit from Hong Kong, focused on celebrating the legacy of Britain’s achievements in Hong Kong.

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