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Bali Remembers Queen Elizabeth II’s Visit To The Island

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Since the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II on the afternoon of Thursday 8th, September, messages of condolences have been sent to the British Royal Family from around the world. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has shared his ‘deepest sympathy for the Royal Family, the government, and the people of the UK.

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Queen Elizabeth visited Bali in 1974 as a part of an official state visit to Indonesia. Her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Lord Mountbatten accompanied her. According to details archived by British Pathe, this was the first visit to Indonesia by a British monarch. The official state visit ran from 15th to 22nd March 1974, when Queen Elizabeth visited Bali, Jakarta, Magelang, and Yogyakarta. 

As reported at the time, she arrived in Bali on the 14th of March. She arrived at a low-key reception at Bali Airport, where she was met by Prince Philip. He arrived on the royal yacht Britannia just hours before. The Queen and Prince Philip had been in Australia two weeks before the visit to Indonesia, but she had to fly back to the UK due to general elections.

Once reunited at Bali Airport, the Queen and Prince Philip were driven to Benoa Port, where they boarded Britannia and sailed for two miles to their anchor. On Friday 15th March, the couple formally began their royal visit to Bali, where they were welcomed by Foreign Minister Adam Malik. 

Footage from the royal visit to Indonesia is limited. There is a 1.15-minute clip of the Queen in Bali available for public viewing. A video from Indonesian news channels shared at the passing of Prince Philip in 2021 shows newspaper coverage from the time.

The archived footage shows the Queen shaking hands with the formal welcoming committee on what appears to be a very wet day. She wore a grey-white dress and matching coat. She was smiling and seemed genuinely happy as she greeted the welcoming party one by one. 

In another clip, she is greeted by a young Balinese woman dressed in full traditional attire. She presents the Queen with what appears to be a Canang Genten offering. Later footage follows the royal motorcade through local villages where school children had been gathered to line the streets. Many are waving Indonesian flags, while a few are waving the Union flag. 

During their visit to Bali, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were invited to attend a Barong dance at a temple close to Singapadu Village. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip appear engaged and enjoy the dance during the performance. After the performance, they meet the local dancers and chat with them at the temple. 

bali traditional dancer

Although a republic with a painful colonial history, Indonesia has a largely positive relationship with the UK and the British Royal Family in recent years. In November 1989, Prince Charles, now known as King Charles III, visited Indonesia with his first wife, Princess Diana. Though the couple did not visit Bali, they did visit Jakarta and Yogyakarta. During this visit, Princess Diana won the hearts of the world when she shook hands with leprosy patients in a regional hospital. 

Borobudur Temple is sunrise, Yogyakarta, Java,

In October 2006, Prince Charles unveiled a monument in London commemorating the lives of the 202 people who died in the Bali Bombings in October 2002. At the ceremony, the names of all 202 people who died in the attack were called out, including 38 Indonesians and 23 Britons. 

President Joko Widodo’s statement reads ‘deeply saddened by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, a widely admired and beloved queen. My deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family, the government, and the people of the UK’. The post has received thousands of comments from people across Indonesia sharing their condolences. 

bali temple

Funeral arrangements are underway for Queen Elizabeth, though it is not yet known whether President Widodo or representatives from Indonesia will be invited to attend. Typically such events are attended by heads of state, especially those who share political ties, such as the UK and Indonesia, through the G20 assembly. 

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tim

Sunday 11th of September 2022

One of the many faces representing our past colonialists. The shortest, perhaps, nonetheless unforgettable. Fortunately, Indonesia is forgiving... Although, nothing would have been more appreciated than a heartfelt apology. But apologizing probably isn't something that comes easily to elitists. May she be able to rest in peace just the same.

Randy

Thursday 15th of September 2022

@tim, although several other countries fell to Western colonial rule in the past, Thailand somehow managed to dodge the bullet. Diplomacy and a Western approach mentality and etiquettes.

Randy

Thursday 15th of September 2022

@tim, well at the very least , the Dutch king during a visit to Indonesia in March 2020, made a surprising apology. The King apologized for the excessive violence inflicted on Indonesia during the Dutch colonial rule. From 1800 to 1949, the archipelago known as the Dutch East Indies, was an important source of wealth from the extensive trade in spices, precious metals And minerals.

You must have heard the saying of "The Empire on which the sun never sets" has been used to explain the vastness of the British empire. Between the 18th and 20th century, the British empire attained more territories making it the largest empire in history. And technically, the sun Still Never Sets Over the British Empire.