The Queen was an inspiration to the youth in her Commonwealth. The High Commissioner for Bangladesh Mr Sayeedur Rahman Khan vividly remembers in 1975 getting a call while he was working in his lab as a postgraduate student at Royal Holloway College.
“I was told that I was one of ten Commonwealth students who had been selected in a lottery of 700 to meet with the Queen for the opening of the new British Council building in Spring Gardens,” he explains.
“I arrived about half an hour ahead of schedule and the other nine scholars and I waited. What an exciting and anxious moment. We were going to meet the Queen, the head of the Commonwealth! It was a dream to us,” he reflects, remembering the disappointment of not being able to take his camera with him.
“At last the moment came. The Queen shook our hands and talked to each of us. I will never forget that moment.”
Thirty-five years later the High Commissioner was able to remind the Queen of that first meeting when he presented his credentials in 2009.
“I told her that when I was doing my PhD I lived at Egham Hill only three miles from Windsor Palace and we visited the Palace many times.
“But I never imagined I would dine with Her Majesty the Queen at the same table at a State Banquet in honour of Indian President Protibha Patil in 2010. That was another memorable occasion.”
Though I’ve been able as High Commissioner to meet Her Majesty at many state functions, meeting her for the first time as a student is special to me.
On behalf of the Bangladesh High Commission I offer my heartfelt felicitations to the Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee and wish her a happy and prosperous long life.