Path to 1997

1997, long after the agreement was signed, and Chris Patten was installed as Hong Kong's last governor, Mrs Thatcher, with Patten at her side, went on a walkabout in the streets of Hong Kong, reassuring bystanders that Britain would keep a watching brief over Hong Kong affairs after the handover.

Nostalgia found heart-aching expression in the grounds of Government House on the eve of Saturday, 28 June 1997, when a gathering of invited guests witnessed the ceremony of Beating Retreat. Dating back to 16th century England, Beating Retreat stemmed from a tradition that had as its origin the need to summon nearby patrolling units back to their castle before nightfall.

Prince Charles, arriving to officiate at the ceremonies, on behalf of his mother, the Queen, attended Beating Retreat at Government House on the evening of Saturday, 28 June 1997, where he is seen exchanging pleasantries with the Right. Hon. Chris Patten.

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