HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II'S OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY WAS CELEBRATED BY HER MAN IN MALAYSIA, BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER HIS EXCELLENCY MR SIMON FEATHERSTONE AT HIS RESIDENCE IN POSH JALAN LANGGAK GOLF ON 8 JUNE 2011.
His Excellency Mr Simon Featherstone, British High Commissioner and Mrs Gail Featherstone. The High Commissioner is wearing his new medal---CMG Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George which was awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth II last May.
Colonel Jacques Lemay, Defence Adviser and Mrs Elizabeth Lemay
The British High Commissioner and Defence Adviser and their spouses welcoming their guests.
Kee Hua Chee, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo and Michael Mantz
Michael Mantz, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo and a Guardsman from the Irish Guards who was flown into Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia X. The two Guardsmen braved the Malaysian humidity to wear their full uniform including bearskin hat.
Don't we all love men in uniform? From left, Alan Reeves, Steve McEwan-Lyon, Dave South and Dave Middleton
Lt Colonel Andre Erich Bosing from Germany and Colonel Paul Curry from New Zealand
Colonel Wang Yang from China and Colonel Pak from USA and not China as I thought.
Captain Pongsakorn of Thailand and Captain Lee Tin Yong from Republic of Korea
left; Captain Halimatun, Major Johari, Honorine Brian, Brian Smythe and Major Zuraidy.
Datuk Joseph Salang, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and the British High Commissioner having a chat before the Toast
THE QUEEN'S ACTUAL BIRTHDAY IS DIFFERENT AS SHE WAS BORN ON 21 APRIL 1926 AT 17 BRUTON STREET, LONDON AND NOT IN BUCKINGHAM PALACE AS MANY ASSUMED. IT WAS KING EDWARD VII WHO DECIDED TO HAVE HIS OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS IN SUNNY, WARM AND PLEASANT JUNE AS HIS ACTUAL BIRTHDAY WAS IN COLD. CHILLY AND WINDY NOVEMBER! NOT THE BEST OF TIME TO HOLD PARADES AND GARDEN PARTIES WITH HOWLING WINDS, DARKNESS AT 4 PM AND RAIN!
And so the custom continues, 110 years later with Queen Elizabeth II holding her official birthday on the second Saturday of June each year though in Malaysia's case it was held yesterday on Wednesday 8 June. The Queen's official birthday Trooping of the colour though the official name is The Queen's Birthday Parade.
Carolyn Reeves and Helen Middleton
Rowina Ghazali Seth of Shell and Max Say of ASLI
His Excellency the Italian ambassador Mr Fulco Gabrielli, Dato Freida Pilus, founder of Cempaka Schools and Dato Hamzah Abdul Majid, chairman of Cempaka Holdings
Carmen Tate, Jorge Carbajal, president of BATA and Carmen Carbajal
HE Mr Simon Featherstone welcoming his guests with 2 Guardsmen from the Irish Guards as Colonel Jacques Lemay in white uniform looked on.
Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities represented the Malaysian Government.
The Malaysian Minister flanked by 2 Guardsmen from the Irish Guards in full uniform and bearskin hats, British High Commissioner and Defence Adviser.
A toast to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
Julie Chan Nuo En from Alice Smith School singing God Save the Queen, the national anthem of United Kingdom
Julie Chan also sang Negara Ku
The lower floor was packed with guests
Dato Joseph Salang, Deputy Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, the British High Commissioner HE Simon Featherstone, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities and Colonel Jacques Lemay, Defence Adviser.
Cambodian princesses; Ponita Keo Norodom and HRH Princess Norodom Arunrasmy, sister of the King of Cambodia and Cambodian ambassador to Malaysia
Mrs Catherine Jones and her husband HE Mr Paul Jones, ambassador of the United States of America.
Blonde power; Robyn and Olga
HE Mr Paul Jones, ambassador of United States of America with Iris Tan, Chief Events Officer of The Star
HE Mr Simon Featherstone, British High Commissioner, his wife Gail Feaherstone, Iris Tan, Colonel Jacques Lamey and General Dato Seri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, Chief of Army of Malaysia.
Princess Becky, Colonel Lemay and General Dato Seri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin enjoying a chat
Defence adviser Colonel Lemay, Dutch lawyer Michael Mantz, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo, 4-star General Dato Seri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, HE Mr Paul Jones, ambassador of United States of America and his wife Mrs Catherine Jones.
The American ambassador, Chief of Malaysian Army, Kee Hua Chee, Catherine Jones, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo and Michael Mantz.
The cakes sent to celebrate the Queen's birthday and Armed Forces Day
Iris Tan and Jennifer Chow of DutaLand
Iris Tan about to enjoy a slice of the good life
Kavita Sukanandan, Yee Jin of British High Commission and Santha Oorjitham
Kee Hua Chee with Jennifer Chow of DutaLand
Iris Tan of The Star with another star Kee Hua Chee
Jennifer Chow and Iris Tan
Notice Iris Tan's politically correct earrings---in the colours and design of Union Jack!
You may get a better look at her Union Jack earrings in this pix
Andrew Yong from Penang
Michael Mantz, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo, Colonel Jacques Lemay and General Dato Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin at the entrance of the British High Commissioner's residence.
Kee Hua Chee in full regalia, Princess Dr Becky in Michael Ong, Colonel Lemay in military uniform and General Dato Sri Zulkifeli in civilian wear.
Many assume Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of England though she is monarch of United Kingdom or Great Britain but there has not been a Queen of England since 1707. From 1707, the monarch, though living mainly in England rather than Wales, Scotland or Ireland (now Northern Ireland) is known as Monarch of the Kingdom of Great Britain or United Kingdom.
Her official title is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Her Majesty is Queen of 16 former British colonies or independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth Realms that include Canada, Australia and New Zealand which are the richest and most powerful to little known specks in the ocean like Saint Kitts and Nevis, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda which is not tio be confused with the better known Bermuda. Queen Elizabeth II is also head of the 54-member Commonwealth of which Malaysia is a member. The Commonwealth was formed after the dissolution of the British Empire which was the world's biggest and greatest empire ever built by one nation. At its peak, one-quarter of the human population had to bow and pay homage to Queen Victoria and in parts of Africa she was worshipped as a white goddess from across the seas!
Today Malaysia and its former colonial master Great Britain are on equal terms and maintain the best of relations. The British High Commissioner HE Simon Featherstone hosted a party at his residence to celebrate the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8 June and 590 Malaysian and foreign guests came to toast the continued good health of the world's longest serving, most hard working and popular Queen. None can deny the good works done by Queen Elizabeth II and this year will see her Diamond Jubilee to mark her 60th year of accession to the throne of St James.
Queen Victoria was the only other monarch to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in 1897! It is extremely rare to reign for 60 years but the Queen ascended the throne on 6 February 1952 though she was crowned on 2 June 1953. She was only 26 and is now 85 years old and her consort Prince Phillip is 90. Her mother also named Queen Elizabeth lived to be 102. As Her Majesty is blessed by God to be in great health, there is every reason for Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate her 70th year on throne which will be Platinum in 2022!
Long live the Queen!
Rain did not dampen the festive mood at the British High Commissioner’s residence in posh Jalan Langgak Golf as his guests came to celebrate the 85th birthday of the former Queen of Malaya and British Borneo.
“Today we celebrate the Queen’s official birthday although her actual birthday is 21 April. King Edward VII, whose birthday was in November, chose sunny June for his official birthday in order to celebrate in warmer, drier conditions. Exactly 110 years later and in a different continent, one is tempted to question King Edward’s decision!” observed Simon Featherstone as the crowd roared in laughter as the rain poured outside.
“We are also using this occasion, for the second time, to mark Armed Forces Day in honour of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.” This explained why there were many men in military uniforms.
Simon and his wife Gail Featherstone met Queen Elizabeth II twice recently. “The first was on 20 April, the day before her 85th birthday. One of her first questions was whether many Malaysians still supported Manchester United. I replied the Yang diPertuan Agong, the Prime Minister and numerous others did...though this was admittedly before the Champions League Final!” The guests burst into laughter again since Manchester United lost to Barcelona Football Club.
The second time the couple met Queen Elizabeth II was in May when he was awarded the CMB, Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George! Simon Featherstone was too modest to mention this but as he was proudly wearing his new medal, I asked for details which he had to diplomatically give. He declined to say why he deserved this honour but after some prying from his friends, was told that was mainly due to his hard work during the Shanghai World Expo last year. He was in charge of the UK Pavilion and was instrumental in its tremendous success as the UK Pavilion was among the top 3 favourites.
His Excellency also noted the presence of our King and Queen at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29 April. “We are particularly looking forward to Prime Minister’s Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s visit to the UK next month as Guest of the British Government which will include a meeting with the British Prime Minister David Cameron and an audience with HM the Queen.”
The British High Commissioner then invited the Guest of Honour Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities who represented the Malaysian Government, to toast Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Tan Sri Dompok duly did so and Julie Chan Nuo En sang ‘God Save the Queen’, the British National Anthem.
Featherstone then offered a toast for the good health and well being of His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong, the success and prosperity of the Government and People of Malaysia. Julie Chan again sang ‘Negara Ku’.
As if on cue, the rain spluttered to a stop as guests tucked in on the great British roast beef, fish and chips and many other delights. Among the more outstanding were Guardsmen David Steed and Michael McMurty from the Irish Guards who braved the Malaysian humidity to wear their full uniform with bearskin hats. Air Asia X sponsored their flight to Kuala Lumpur and other sponsors were Cold Storage, Tiger Beer, Grand Millennium, Johnnie Walker and O’Gourmet.