The daughter of the last British governor of Hong Kong has received a recent outpouring of affection from Hongkongers, following an incident in which the Chief Executive allegedly used his privileges to help his daughter bypass airport security rules.

Hong Kong netizens have been posting old photos of Chris Patten’s three daughters Laura, Kate and Alice when they were in Hong Kong, since the incident involving Leung Chun-yan, the Chief Executive’s youngest daughter, was revealed by local media.

Chris Patten with family.
Chris Patten with family.

“I’m grateful for your support, I love you Hong Kong,” a post on the Alice Patten Facebook page said. The page posted two old photos of Patten’s family when they were at the Government House.

Netizens were amazed by the apparent “response” from the English actress, however, – as it is a “fan page” – it is unlikely that it is managed by Patten herself.

The two posts combined had received more than 8,000 likes and 700 shares by Monday morning.

“All real Hong Kongers miss the Patten family very much. The good old days when HK was the Pearl of the Orient,” one commentator said, which was liked more than 250 times.

Responses from Alice Patten's fan page.
Responses from Alice Patten’s fan page. Photo: Facebook.

“Those were the days when HK people were proud of their identity,” another said.

“[N]o one was above the laws; police were not being used to suppress freedoms; top gov’t officials were qualified and experienced; less crowded streets and MTR; less fights and above all, the mayor’s daughters were beautiful and well-educated!!!”


It was not the first time Hong Kong netizens posted photos of Patten’s family, after they left the city in 1997.

Nostalgia for the former “first family” was also invoked by an incident in March last year.

Leung Chai-yan.
Leung Chai-yan. Photo: Facebook/Apple Daily.

Leung Chai-yan, the other daughter of the Chief Executive, claimed she was domestically abused by her mother and had been locked up. She threatened to “leave home forever” on social media.

Her father Leung Chun-ying called an ambulance to the Government House and told reporters that Chai-yan was “under a lot of pressure” as a young girl, that she has been seeking medical help.

“Why was it that Chris Patten’s daughters did not get into trouble living in Government House for all those years, yet such troubles have come to Ms Leung since she moved in?” a user questioned on popular HKGolden forum.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.