Cayman celebrates Queen’s birthday

Hats were optional but plenty were seen at the garden party in Cayman to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s official 90th birthday over the holiday weekend.

To mark the monarch’s birthday, dignitaries first converged on downtown George Town in front of the Legislative Assembly to view the traditional parade of Cayman’s uniformed services and a royal salute, and to witness a 21-gun salute and offer three cheers to the queen.

Among those in the parade were the Royal Cayman Islands Police band, detachments from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the Cayman Islands Fire Service, HM Prison Service, veterans, Girls Brigade, Scouts and the Cadet Corps.

This was followed by a ceremony at which some prominent local figures were honored.

Governor Helen Kilpatrick, after carrying out her duty as representative of the queen by inspecting the assembled uniformed services, presented EY Managing Partner Dan Scott with Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal.

“I am most honored and humbled by it because I think it is an award that is something that comes from the culmination of the community as a whole,” Mr. Scott told the Cayman Compass. “So while I am here receiving it, there are many people who contributed to me and what I do.

“It is important to be community-minded and pay it forward. We are here but for a while, so may we make it a better place as we move on.”

Also at the ceremony, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson announced that Charles Wesley Watler has been named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to the community in the Cayman Islands, and that Philip Agustus Rankin will be awarded the Certificate and Badge of Honour for services to the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands and to the board of Cayman Airways.

Those who attended the ceremony were given a commemorative gift to mark the queen’s 90th birthday – a button designed by Government Information Service’s graphic designer Kara Coe for the celebration.

Then it was on to the more relaxed portion of the celebration – a garden party on the lawn of Government House, the home of Governor Kilpatrick on West Bay Road. Guests were treated to a performance by the Cayman Youth Choir and a segment of the comedy “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” by members of the Cayman Drama Society.

London festivities

Celebrations in Cayman were carried out in far warmer and drier weather than those in England, where the skies opened and revelers donned ponchos to keep off the rain at a street party on The Mall in London on Sunday.

The street party was the grand finale to a weekend of festivities marking the queen’s birthday.

Members of the royal family spent about 30 minutes greeting guests on a “walkabout” along The Mall, after which the Queen thanked everyone for the birthday wishes she had received during the year.

“To everyone here today and those holding street parties elsewhere, I would like to say thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you continue to give to me,” she said.

“I hope these happy celebrations will remind us of the many benefits that can flow when people come together for a common purpose as families, friends or neighbors.”

On Saturday, the queen attended the annual “Trooping the Colour” ceremony, an event she has taken part in every year since the start of her reign in 1952, except in 1955 when it was canceled due to a national rail strike.

Wire services contributed to this report.