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Title: Celebrating Queen Victoria in the Colonial City: The Diamond Jubilee in Hong Kong and Cape Town
Authors: Morris, Richard William Tavener
Supervisors: Kidambi, Prashant
Attard, Bernard
Award date: 14-Dec-2017
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The 1897 Diamond Jubilee was a truly global celebration, breaking out across the wide expanses of the British Empire in a near simultaneous fashion. Yet these local events were not identical across the world. Using the local coverage of the celebrations that took place in Hong Kong and Cape Town, two of the empire’s most rapidly growing and significant port cities, this thesis uses the comparative method of analysis to uncover the nuances, similarities and discrepancies within them. This approach allows light to shine away from the focus of the festivities – Queen Victoria – and to be brought to bear more directly onto the locations and celebrants themselves. This thesis considers the socio-political and economic background to the events and examines whether these issues had any bearing on how the celebrations were performed and received. It also seeks to examine the subject of empire loyalty within these two cities, and the extent to which genuine levels of affection held towards the queen could be found. Whilst it is apparent that the celebrations were largely well-attended, and general levels of public engagement with the event appeared to be high, the arguments of this thesis take issue with the facile verdict, voiced by colonial institutions at the time, that active participation and attendance at the event was proof enough of its popularity. Instead, this work considers the different motivations that may have lay behind attendance at the festivities and also considers the various representations of Britishness that were also projected during the celebrations. In the final chapter, the Diamond Jubilee is considered in relation to the histories and identities of the two cities in which these celebrations took place.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, School of Historical Studies

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