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1893-05-26 Queen Victoria’s birthday military ceremony

Although her actual birthday was the 24th May, Hong Kong marked Queen Victoria’s birthday with a Public Holiday and military ceremony on 1893-05-26.
Crowds are awaiting the start of the ceremony on the still under construction Praya, hence the piles of stones and other building material. The venue obviously wasn’t ready to host a major ceremony, but had been chosen as the original venue, Happy Valley, was deemed “too damp…for purpose” following heavy rain.
A flag is flying near the middle of the photo, beneath which a number of uniforms are drawn up, facing inland, with a crowd in a half-circle around them. Two, or possibly three, figures are standing in-line, infront of the others, suggesting their seniority.The two nearest to us are in light and dark uniforms respectively and both seem to be wearing ornamental headgear. Colonel G.R. Macdonell commanded the parade that day, whilst The Governor, William Robinson, took the salute. I don’t know anything about ceremonial uniforms, but most of the photos of Robinson and other Governors of that era show them in dark ceremonial uniform, so I’m assuming The Gov’s the one in the dark attire with Colonel Macdonell beside him in the light uniform.
The exact location was said to be “in-front of City Hall“, where Statue Square is today. The exact location can be determined as the photo shows that the positions of the new roads that would crisscross the Praya had already been laid out. Wardley Street can be seen running from the right to the left of the photo where it joins a circle shape, which must be the roundabout upon which Queen Victoria’s Statue would later stand at the junction with Chater Road.

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