Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II must have fond memories of her first visit to Sri Lanka in 1954. As well as visiting Colombo during the ten days she spent here, she also visited Kandy to watch the Perahera, and while there, she was felicitated at the grounds of Trinity College Kandy before she was escorted to the historical “Magul Maduwa” to be welcomed by a delegation of Kandyan Chiefs.
Picture: “The Mayor of Kandy welcoming the Queen at the Trinity College main entrance drive.” | Picture Credits: GettyImages
It is a very little known fact that this ceremonial felicitation was done at the grounds of Trinity College Kandy because it is often referred to as the “Municipal” ceremony in all the documents appearing on the internet.
Following are few images extracted from the internet and the Trinity College Archives of the ceremonial “Guard of Honour” which was staged at Trinity College premises (Trinity College car park at present):
Pictures (Above & Below): Trinity in 1954 and Trinity in 2018
Picture: The Mayor of Kandy, Mr. E.L. Senanyake escorting the Queen through the College premises (College car park at present)
Picture: “Guard of Honour”
The above picture is from a diary compiled by Mr. Kingsley Thenuwara (an Old Boy from the 50’s) now at the Trinity College Archive.
Picture credits: GettyImages
There are no other documented details of this visit to Trinity College Kandy as it was not an official visit by the Queen specifically to the school and this felicitation was part of the civic reception organised by then the Mayor of Kandy, Mr E. L. Senanayake. However, we came across a video footage (first 13 seconds of the video) of the Queen being escorted in a car through the Trinity College main drive. Video Credits to British Pathe.
Even though We have mentioned that this visit was not Official, The Queen has signed the “College Guest Book” which says:
19th April 1954: “Kandy Municipality Civic Reception to Her Majesty in Trinity College Hall”
The Guest book was signed by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg.
Article written by Sheshan Abeysekara