A number of police officers monitored the scene outside the city’s British consulate on Monday night, where scores of Hongkongers had gathered to pay final tributes to Queen Elizabeth II. Some mourners sang a song linked to the 2019 protests.

In footage posted on social media, one man could be seen being taken away by officers after playing several songs, including the British national anthem. The Force have yet to confirm whether the man was arrested.

Queen British consulate tribute mourning
Hongkongers pay attribute to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. File photo: Hillary Leung/HKFP.

Monday marked the last day for the people of Hong Kong to bid a personal farewell to Britain’s longest serving monarch, who visited the city twice when it was still under British colonial rule. The British consulate closed the book of condolences as the Queen was laid to rest at Windsor Castle in Britain on Monday following a state funeral attended by world leaders.

According to Ming Pao, a number of people gathered outside the consulate to watch the live stream of the Queen’s funeral at around 6 p.m.

Queen Elizabeth II funeral
Queen Elizabeth II funeral cortege passes through Horse Guards in London following her funeral at Westminster Abbey. Photo: Lauren Hurley/No 10 Downing Street, via Flickr.

Around two hours later, dozens of people burst into a section of “Glory to Hong Kong” – the unofficial anthem of the 2019 anti-extradition bill unrest – outside the consulate with their phone flashlights illuminated, footage taken by Xinqi Su of Agence France-Presse showed. The crowd could also be heard chanting slogans, including “Hongkongers, add oil.”

Su reported that the singing began after a man started to play the harmonica on the pavement opposite to the consulate building. A video by online outlet Channel C HK showed the man, dressed in black, playing other songs as well, including the British national anthem.

Local media footage later showed the man being held inside a cordoned off area and surrounded by uniformed police officers before being lead into a police van. It was unclear whether the man was apprehended.

A female police officer also reportedly put out candles placed outside the consulate with a bottle of water.

HKFP has reached out to the police for confirmation and comment.

A man who appeared to be an employee of the British consulate told the police that they were “surprised” by the police deployment, according to a video shot by On.cc. A police officer replied by saying they had concerns over obstruction on the street where the crowd had congregated.

YouTube video

“We’ve had a lot of people here over the past 11 days, so it’s been the same every night and we haven’t had any problem so far. That’s why we are a bit surprised that you came tonight,” the consulate employee said.

A female officer replied: “Just a concern over the public situation, because there is many people crowding and causing obstruction.”

More than 13,000 people signed the books of condolence at the British consulate, consul general Brian Davidson said on Twitter. In a video published on Monday, he described the Queen as a “source of constancy in a changing world,” saying her visits to the city in 1975 and 1986 demonstrated “her great respect for the territory.”

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Davidson also pointed to how Hongkongers called the Queen “Si Tau Po,” a Cantonese phrase that meant “boss lady.” The nickname showed the Queen holds a special place in the hearts of many Hong Kong people, he said.

The head of the British consulate used Cantonese to thank the thousands of people who waited in line for hours amid sweltering heat to say their personal farewell to the late Queen.

“Thank you for your support and your tributes to the Queen,” the consul general said in Cantonese.

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Kelly Ho

Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.