By Fiona Hurrell, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, may not have visited Rio since 1968 but her presence has by no means been forgotten. In June both England and Brazil celebrate the Queen’s Birthday within the expatriate population at various intervals throughout the month. This year on Wednesday, June 22nd, the British Consulate will mark their annual celebration of her Majesty’s Birthday with UK Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Nick Clegg in attendance.
The event itself will be held at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, one of the city’s oldest and best established landmarks. Also on the guest list will be Minister for Culture, Media and Sport Mr. Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Universities and Science Mr. David Willetts, Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Green and Deputy Minister for International Relations Mr. Jeremy Browne.
The event signifies the end of Mr. Clegg and his delegation’s visit to Brazil, during which they gave conferences in the aim of expanding and promoting good relations and cooperation between the UK and Brazil. One of the highlights has included a seminar dedicated to the legacy and continuity of the Olympic and Paralympics games.
Furthermore, a talk was held on the design methods for the preparation of the 2016 Olympics, touching on the experiences of the British public and private sectors which managed to complete the Olympic village one year in advance of the London 2012 games.
The Queen’s Birthday this year, as last year, provides the perfect opportunity for British expatriate residents to celebrate what it is to be British whilst honoring the cultural links which exist between England and Brazil.
Prior to his visit, Mr. Clegg said “The size and nature of my delegation will reflect the relationship we have with Brazil. We firmly believe that engagement with the emerging powers is the way forward and we have much in common with Brazil: core values such as respect for democracy and human rights.”
Wednesday’s event is not the first party held in her Majesty’s honor this year. On Saturday, June 4th the British and Commonwealth Society of Rio de Janeiro (BCS) hosted an event for the society’s members and their families as well as the general public.
Chairman of the BCS, Jack Woodall explains: “The Queen’s official birthday is June 9th, but Brits around the world are invited to celebrate on any of the first three Saturdays in June. We chose to hold our party on the first Saturday of June so that children can attend and any Brits who are leaving for the UK before the airfares go up won’t miss it.”
Highlights included a traditional style English tea of sandwiches and cakes followed by a royal Champagne toast to her Majesty the Queen. Children were able to enter a fancy dress competition and various prizes were raffled including flights to both England and the U.S., a weekend stay at the Copacabana Palace hotel, plus a variety of beauty treatments and vouchers for a complimentary dining experience. Proceeds from the raffles were donated to a charity.
Whether patriotic or not, events such as the Queen’s Birthday celebration help to bring the expatriate community together with a common purpose, the celebration of Britain and being British, regardless of the country in which they may reside.