Prince of Wales' visit to Hong Kong 6 to 8 April 1922
A PICTORIAL RECORD OF THE VOYAGES OF H.M.S. "RENOWN", 1921— 1922
Fog lay thick over Hong-Kong when the Renown arrived off the harbour on the morning of April 6, and for the first time during the tour the Prince's arrival was delayed. The mist lifted within an hour, and the battle cruiser passed to her anchorage amid the hooting of syrens, the explosion of thousands of firecrackers, and the salutes of British and foreign warships, including a Japanese squadron of light cruisers sent to act as escort on the voyage to Yokohama.
British bluejackets lined the route from Blake's pier to a reception hall erected especially for the visit, and the Prince accomplished this short journey in a palanquin carried by eight Chinese bearers in white and scarlet costumes, his staff following on foot.
At the hall he heard an address in flowery Chinese, which was read in the presence of British and Chinese officials, foreign consuls and representatives of the commercial community, and he then continued his journey in the palanquin up the steep hillside to Government House.
[In the afternoon, the prince played polo at Causeway Bay and had tea afterwards. This was not part of his official visit program, therefore not mentioned in the book].
In the evening he came "down town" again to see the illuminations which were very beautiful. All the principal buildings were lit uniformly by red Chinese lanterns, and the warships in harbour were outlined in lights. It was a matter of general regret that the whole of Hong-Kong's night display could not be seen. Mist enveloped the upper half of the "Peak,"—the high hill behind the city—and the very elaborate illuminations prepared on the upper slope and crest were hidden during the Royal visit.
On the second day of his stay his Royal Highness [at the Hong Kong Cricket Club Pavilion] met the children from 42 schools; boy scouts and girl guides ; inspected the 102nd Grenadiers (Indian Army); received an honorary degree from the University, and an address from the Masons.
[He laid the foundation stone for the St. Stephen's Girl's College].
He made a happy impression when asked to permit the erection of a statue of himself in Statue Square, by replying that he preferred instead “that some very good thing be done for the community of Hong-Kong in his name." In the afternoon he attended the races at Happy Valley, a famous resort for all classes of the community, and saw the Prince of Wales' stakes run in the presence of an enormous crowd. The Chinese gave him a banquet of weird and costly dishes, in the auditorium of their principal theatre [Taiping Theatre]. The menu included such curious delicacies as shark's fin, "gold and silver eggs," and bird's nest soup. During the courses a company of actors from Canton performed an amusing little drama.
The Prince liked Hong-Kong, and before the Renown sailed next morning he was ashore early at Kowloon, visiting the markets and buying souvenirs in the shops. At 9 o'clock the Japanese cruiser escort led the way into the China Sea, and the people on the water front had a last glimpse of his Royal Highness saluting from his platform above the bridge.