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Hong Kong - Chinese Territory

The Governor's Last Farewell

Chris Patten, Hong Kong's 28th and last British Governor, left Government House yesterday before proceeding to the farewell ceremonies. An honour guard and silver and pipe bands from the Royal Hong Kong Police in military formation gave him a memorable send-off.

Mr Patten stepped out from the main entrance of the building that was his home for the past five years. The national anthem was played, and a squad from the Hong Kong police drill instructors displayed their skills.

Royal Hong Kong Police pipe band
Standing in the rain the Governor was clearly moved, blinking back tears, when the band played his favourite tune Highland Cathedral..

Before the ceremony, Mr Patten had spoken of the "emotionally draining" series of farewells he had been undertaking: "My goodness me, there's not much room left on my handkerchief."

The Governor then said farewell to members of the uniformed services of the Hong Kong Administration, who at midnight tonight will take the ER insignia off their shoulder badges, and will change their allegiance to the new rulers of Hong Kong.

Lowering the Governor's standard
Patten & Flag
A souvenir from Hong Kong
The Governor's standard, fluttering above the building's portico, was lowered. The flag was folded and presented to Mr Patten.

Mr Patten then got into his official Rolls Royce - a car that from midnight local time tonight will have a new owner: Tung Chee-hwa, the territory's Chief Executive designate.

Rolls Royce
On a one-way journey....
Finally Mr Patten broke the tradition of previous departing British Governors: they are driven around the driveway of Government House three tims to signify their intention to return to Hong Kong; Mr Patten did only two turns of the driveway while the band played "Auld Lang Syne".

Listen live to all the handover ceremonies - or watch them, with realaudio and realvideo

Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997

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