This evening, Their Excellencies Major General Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for Defence and Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, joined the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP the British Secretary of State for Defence, British Ambassador, Nicholas Hopton and over one thousand guests of the British Embassy, in celebrating the Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In attendance were members of the British and Qatari communities, the Diplomatic Corps and international business and government, media guests, plus teachers from the British schools in Qatar, along with British Embassy and British Council staff, which also celebrated the strong partnerships between the UK and Qatar.
Guests were kept entertained by the talents of the Doha military band, Doha Jazz and the UK’s visiting Urban Playground parkour team (who will also be appearing at Souq Waqif over the weekend), as well as live painting by British artist Rachel Gadsden.
The UK’s Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
It is my great pleasure to return to Qatar today and to be here in the company of so many of our Qatari friends to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Qatar and the UK have a long and historic partnership, which the UK values greatly. We have worked closely together for many decades now, including on active service in Libya in 2011, and I was delighted today to be able to discuss with HH the Emir and HE the Minister of State for Defence Affairs ways in which to strengthen the long term defence partnership between our two nations.
Ambassador Nicholas Hopton said:
The Queen’s Birthday Party is a chance for us to celebrate our important partnership with Qatar and to thank our Qatari friends and the wider community who have worked in support of our bilateral partnership. Many of our guests here work tirelessly to improve the close relationships between our two countries, whether through increased trade, education, health or cultural links. Over the last year, the bilateral relationship between Qatar and the UK has gone from strength to strength. We saw over 80 cultural events take place in 2013 as part of the Qatar/UK year of culture. And this month, through events organised by the British Embassy and the British Council as part of British Festival 2014, we have been celebrating the legacy that was created and looking to the future.
Neither the British Festival nor the Queen’s Birthday party today would have been possible without our many sponsors and business partners. In particular I would like to thank the sponsors of the Queen’s Birthday Party: Vodafone, Mace, Atkins, HSBC, PWC and the Alfardan group, and the sponsors of the British Festival: Shell and BAE Systems.
9 April 2014