An opera star from Hong Kong has publicly apologized for praising Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II after her recent death.
Law Kar-ying, a 75-year-old Cantonese opera star, was among those who mourned the queen’s death outside the city’s British consulate.
Law shared an image of himself at the consulate with the caption: “Hong Kong was a blessed land during her reign.”
The post, which went viral on Chinese social media, sparked outrage among nationalists.
In response to the criticism, Law posted a video apology on Weibo in which he expressed regret for “making remarks of mourning without thinking them through.”
“My original intention was to express condolences for a late elderly woman, and I would like to appeal to everyone not to overly interpret what I said,” the veteran singer said in Mandarin Chinese.
“I can’t possibly forget my origin and ancestry,” he added. “That I have been keeping a Chinese passport says it all, I am Chinese and I love my motherland forever. I am sorry.”
But while Law’s original Instagram post has since been taken down, many Weibo users remained unconvinced of his apology’s sincerity.
Some users even told him that he should “learn from his wife” Liza Wang, who served as Hong Kong’s delegate to China’s National People’s Congress from 1988 to 1997.
Meanwhile, other commenters defended Law and said he did not even need to apologize in the first place.
Discussions on Hong Kong radio shows posit that those in the Cantonese opera industry were appreciative of the several MBEs (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) awarded to some of the top performers in history, which includes Leung Sing Poh (awarded in 1976), Sun Ma Sze Tsang (1978), Kwan Tak-hing (1984) and Fong Yim-fun (1995).