It’s like they never left.
Chris Patten and his family are renewing ties with their former home with a pair of old family photos that are going viral on social media.
The pictures, taken before the 1997 handover and uploaded by Patten’s youngest daughter Alice (彭雅思), are making some Hongkongers nostalgic for their last colonial governor.
One photo shows Alice, then in her teens, with her family and their pets seated by a Christmas tree in the Governor’s Mansion, now Government House.
The other, showing them in a different pose, is simply captioned “I’m grateful for your support” and “I love you Hong Kong”.
The images, uploaded to Facebook one day apart, received thousands of “likes” and hundreds of shares and comments within hours of posting.
Many Hong Kong netizens praised the Pattens for their “decency”, with some comparing them to the present first family.
Some said they hope the Pattens can visit Hong Kong.
Alice, 36, an actor and director, was educated in Hong Kong’s Island School and at Queens’ College in Cambridge.
After graduation, she appeared in many TV dramas and movies.
Her popularity soared after her appearance in the 2006 Hindi film Rang De Basanti (Paint It Yellow) in which she was praised as one of the 35 most beautiful foreign women in Bollywood movies.
Patten’s ties with Hong Kong have remained strong thanks to his continued engagement in its political development.
By contrast, Leung Chun-ying has been deeply unpopular since becoming only the third post-handover Hong Kong chief executive.
Last week, he was accused of abusing his power when he was reported to have intervened when his younger daughter left her carry-on luggage in the passenger check-in area in the airport.
It later emerged that his wife, Regina Tong, told airport staff to bring the luggage over to her daughter who was already in a restricted area.
In a statement, Leung denied he had abused his office.
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