San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Celebrating Queen Elizabeth in Costa Rica

British pop and rock musical hits serenaded a crowd gathered Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Corobici to celebrate the six decades of Queen Elizabeth II.

Over 200 Costa Rican and British embassy officials, expatriates as well as local and foreign business people recognized the Queen’s birthday and Diamond Jubilee, which marks the 60 years since Elizabeth’s accession to the throne. Sharon Campbell, the British Ambassador, welcomed the guests, spoke about the history between Costa Rica and England and welcomed everyone to partake in a lunch of British staples such as fish, chips and tartar sauce, Pimm’s Cup cocktails and cucumber sandwiches.

Campbell said she wants people to know more about England than what is disseminated through figures like James Bond and Elton John. That is why gathering a diverse group of people here in Costa Rica to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee is important, she said. On Sunday, the celebrations continued with a Diamond Jubilee Picnic charity event in Santa Ana, in west San José.

“We hope to honor the Queen as if she were here,” said Giancarlo Araya, an official in the British Embassy, at the Queen’s birthday bash at the Crowne Plaza. “It is a compacted version of what happens in England but this also forwards friendships, business and trade.”

Historical relations between our countries may have been complicated, Campbell said referencing England’s past of empire building.

“But the Britain of today is different,” she said. “As we celebrate the Queen here in Costa Rica we further our personal and business bonds. Today we both are strong and will grow even stronger together.”

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