Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

As have so many around the world, we pay our deepest respects and sorrow for the death of Queen Elizabeth.  The Queen has been the only British monarch most of the world’s population has ever known.  Admired and respected everywhere, she had a special impact in China.  This article in China’s Ifeng recalls her memorable visit to China in 1986.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In 1986, Queen Elizabeth II, was the first British head of state to visit China.  She visited cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Kunming and Guangzhou.  The Queen made an important contribution to the British-Sino relationship.  As the first British monarch visiting China,  not only did Her Majesty show excellent diplomacy as always, Her Majesty also delivered a historical message to her Chinese counterpart and a much-delayed letter from Queen Elizabeth I. 

On 12  October, 1986, a special plane with the British Royal flag landed at the Capital International Airport. This began one of the most important overseas visits of her 70-year reign.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

You're not a hero if you don't get to the Great Wall.
(a famous Chinese saying)

During their stay in Beijing, the Queen and her husband Prince Philip walked along the Great Wall.

The Great Wall is a window for foreign friends to understand China. Standing on the top of the Badaling Great Wall in Beijing, China, the Queen overlooked the mountains. At this time, the Great Wall was like a golden dragon, shining brightly. As far as the eye can see, there are dark green pines and cypresses and crimson maple leaves. The Queen said with emotion:

I have been to many places, and the Great Wall of China is the most beautiful.

So beautiful, so majestic, the atmosphere between the host and guest became pleasant and friendly. This kind of scenery may not be unfamiliar to the Queen.  Perhaps, Hadrian's Wall in the UK and the Great Wall of China were looking at each other from a far distance.

During the laughter and laughter, the Queen personally took pictures of many beautiful views of the Great Wall of China.

In October of that year, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Terracotta Warriors and Horses.  Her Majesty said with feeling:

I have heard of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses in the past, and I have also seen photos. This time I saw it with my own eyes. It was amazing.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In addition to the Forbidden City and Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Her Majesty also visited Kunming, Yunnan. According to data, the national flags of China and the United Kingdom were flying at the airport at that time.  More than 1,500 people dressed in 24 ethnic minority costumes played cheerful ethnic music, and waved bouquets and ribbons in their hands. After the Queen entered the city, Her Majesty walked on both sides of the street.  Nearly 10,000 citizens spontaneously applauded and stayed at Zhenzhuang Hotel.

Zhao Min, 37 years old at the time, as the manager of the food and beverage department of Yunnan Zhenzhuang Hotel, was responsible for managing the Queen's food in the hotel and going out. According to her recollection:

The hotel was preparing to welcome the Queen's arrival half a year in advance, and the hotel was specially prepared in front of the main entrance. We planted welcoming pine trees, and built two Chinese-style pavilions on the Jiuqu Bridge, and the waiters also received special etiquette training.

At that time, the Queen's room was arranged according to custom of Her Majesty, and it took three months for skilled craftsmen to build a rosewood bed and dresser for the Queen. The bed was carefully carved with double lions rolling hydrangea, and the red bedspread was embroidered with double hydrangeas. The pattern of Feng Chaoyang highlights the traditional Chinese culture.

On the second day of the Queen's visit to Yunnan, the group visited the Xishan Scenic Area. The Queen climbed to the Sanqing Pavilion, which is like a "palace in the sky", and looked up at the vast Dianchi Lake and the Spring City, and tasted Yunnan Pu'er tea in front of the tea table set up here.

After that, the Queen took the "Dragon Gate" yacht to visit Dianchi Lake and came to Daguan Park along the water. After disembarking, follow the stone bridge to the core area near Huapu, and plant three roses specially brought from the UK in the flower bed in front of the "Guanjiatang".

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Later, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philips visited the "White Swan" Hotel in Guangzhou. Henry Fok Ying-tung specially presented to the White Swan Hotel an antique "Rolls-Royce" with three rows of seats shining bright blue. The 45 vehicles of the pick-up team can move up to 1 km apart from the beginning to the end. The Queen was very interested in that antique Rolls-Royce, and in order to express gratitude, Her Majesty's invited two drivers from the White Swan Hotel to Her Majesty's cruise for a luncheon.

The Queen's dining in Guangzhou also made the chefs take great pains. Although there were only six dishes, the names of each dish are auspicious and full of romanticism. "Yue Ying Xian Rabbit" is a well-known Cantonese dim sum platter; "Shuanglong Xizhu" is a shrimp ball made of lobster and prawn; "Milk swallow enters the bamboo forest" is prepared with precious bird's nest and fresh bamboo shoots as raw materials. There is a suckling swallow carved from carrots on the plate; "Golden Red Pig with Skin" is a famous Guangdong dish of roast suckling pig; "Phoenix Babaoding" is a famous winter melon pot in Guangdong; "Splendid Grouper" is the original It is an ordinary seafood dish, but it looks extraordinary after dressing up.

When Queen Elizabeth II visited China in 1986, Her Majesty's presented a letter to Chairman Li Xiannian 390 years late. That is a letter written by Queen Elizabeth I in 1596 to Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty. The letter expressed the hope that trade between the UK and China can be developed. But the messenger of the letter suffered from misfortune, so the letter never arrived. When Queen Elizabeth II presented the letter, Her Majesty's said to Chairman Li Xiannian: "Fortunately, the postal business has progressed since 1602, and the letter you invited us to here has been delivered safely, and your acceptance of this invitation gave us great joy."

Source: news.ifeng.com.

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