23 October 2016
You don't need to be a billionaire like Lau Ming-wai (left) to celebrate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Photos: Reuters, HKEJ
You don't need to be a billionaire like Lau Ming-wai (left) to celebrate the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Photos: Reuters, HKEJ

For HK$30,000, you get to know the etiquette to greet the Queen

You do not need to be as rich as “Male God” Lau Ming-wai to celebrate the heritage of a proud British nationality.

But if you want to be a part of the 90th birthday bash for Queen Elizabeth II, you may need to pay at least HK$30,000 to join the group tour.

Just two days before the Queen’s birth anniversary on April 21st, the son of tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung was found to have a British passport, according to the Panama Papers leak.

The documents also said Heung Yee Kuk’s Kenneth Lau Ip-keung, together with his father Lau Wong-fat, registered offshore companies with British citizenship, although he clarified on Wednesday that both he and his father are now full-fledged Chinese nationals. He said the Panama documents are not up-to-date.

The rising political stars of these two young barons have somehow dimmed after it was learned that they are or were British nationals.

In fact, no senior government official or appointed member of the Executive Council has held a foreign passport since the former British colony returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

Apparently, Ming-wai, a holder of a doctorate degree from King’s College, was so enamored with his educational upbringing that he chose to stick with his British nationality, creating a huge contrast to the fact that he always asks Hong Kong youngsters to study and work in China.

If you are like him, you may find it a duty to celebrate the birthday of the Queen, the longest-serving royal who has presided over the realm for more than 60 years.

And for those belonging to the hoi polloi like us, it’s quite interesting to learn that a local travel agency is offering a six-night Virgin Atlantic package to the United Kingdom next month that starts at HK$28,999 per person.

It’s the usual tour – Oxford visit, East End show, Shakespeare’s hometown (which coincides with the Bard’s 400th birthday) – except that it also offers tickets for the May 15th birthday party of Her Royal Majesty at the Windsor Castle.

The brochure reads: “Her Majesty’s birthday party will be a celebration of The Queen’s life, her love of horses, her dedication to the Commonwealth and international affairs and her deep involvement with the Navy, Army and Air Force.”

In a carefully planned itinerary, the tour group will first take a day-long course at the London School of Etiquette during which guests will learn the many aspects of British manners and social customs.

The tutor will answer any questions the guests may have in social and business etiquette, the brochure says.

It goes without saying that many Hong Kong people, especially those who simply forgot the colonial ways because it has been too long, may want to join the tour just for this special arrangement.

And just in case you miss the exclusive Queen’s birthday bash, you may want to settle for her granddaughter Charlotte’s first birthday.

Accordingly, The Lanesborough is offering a special Pink Princess Afternoon Tea set for two to celebrate Princess Charlotte’s first birthday in May, along with the Queen’s anniversary.

The pink pastries include a “Flower Dome” rhubarb cheesecake, a delicate strawberry mousse Rocher, a cherry cream éclair and a raspberry sablé biscuit, all for just 48 pounds (HK$534.70, US$68.94).

Much less expensive than the Peninsula afternoon tea set, we reckon.

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EJ Insight writer

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