A schoolboy's memory of Queen Elizabeth in Bombay in 1961

Our readers have their say on the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II, the debate over the Koh-i-Noor diamond and the success of Lebanon's group, the Mayyas

Queen Elizabeth II receives a statuette during a visit in Bangalore as part of a state visit in India on January 1961. Central Press/ AFP
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I saw the Queen briefly in 1961, on her first visit to India. I was 12 years old, in grade 5 in the Dr Antonio da Silva School, in Bombay. Our school wall bordered the Portuguese Church Street, through which her motorcade was scheduled to pass. So we were all given a special break to stand against the school wall and cheer the Queen as she drove regally in her motorcade. This was 61 years ago.

Little did I realise then that the pretty lady of 35 years, waving out to all of us with her slim white-gloved hand would dominate the world with her wisdom and sagacity, and gradually become a global star.

Perpetually low-profiled despite being a Queen, unobtrusive and withdrawn, she influenced British and global thinking and politics without appearing to do so. And she did a brilliant job in promoting global peace and co-operation. She had friends and admirers in world leaders during the past 70 years. Queen Elizabeth's death leaves a gap in global leadership and diplomacy that will not be easy to fill.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Diamonds are forever – with the colonisers?

With reference Taniya Dutta's article Indians demand return of Koh-i-Noor diamond after Queen Elizabeth II's funeral (September 20): this was a comprehensive report with history and background. It adds to the meaningful debate about whether precious objects that colonisers have taken from countries across the world should be returned. In this case, in 1849, India's former king Dileep Singh, as a 10-year-old, signed a treaty with the British. He gave up his sovereignty along with the entire royal treasury, which included the gemstone, to Queen Victoria, who wore the Koh-i-Noor as a brooch. Seeing it on the crown during Queen Elizabeth's funeral has irked some Indians who are calling for it to be returned. I believe the UK should return it to the original owner. India is often known for its friendly nature and peaceable relations within the international arena. But it remains to be seen whether such posturing will ensure the precious diamond returns to its original home.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India

The dazzling Mayyas and the Lebanese spirit

With reference to the editorial Mayyas show the enduring power of Lebanese culture (September 16): Like a perfect storm, the Mayyas dance group dazzled and amazed in the contest America's Got Talent. The beautiful and talented young Lebanese girls, their director, and support crew showcased the best of a culture and an ethnic landscape nestled along the mighty Mediterranean. Each performance was spectacular, mesmerising and cast a spell on audiences and judges. I congratulate them wholeheartedly for their hard work and deserved fame.

Being married to a Lebanese for 24 years, I know the culture, traditions and challenges the people face. May this new found glory uplift their spirits and let their flag wave bold with pride. Independent of my personal connection, I wish this dance crew success and a brilliant future. Nobody does it better.

Kerwin Maude. British Columbia, Canada

Published: September 23, 2022, 3:00 AM