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Twenty-two-year-old Janice Ho, a third-year student at the London Contemporary Dance School, has been chosen to portray Princess Elizabeth in the Diamond Jubilee pageant next month.
The casting of a Singaporean to play the British monarch appears to have been inspired by the hit Netflix show Bridgerton, a regency drama that has won praise for its diverse cast.
“I’m really excited to be able to perform to such a big crowd in countries across the Commonwealth. London is such a diverse place and being able to represent that is such a great opportunity,” Ms Ho told The Telegraph in an article published on Saturday (Apr 30).
The dance she is featured in is called “Princess and the Dragon,” and shows Ms Ho along with a 14-foot tall dragon puppet, symbolic of the princess coming to terms with her power and responsibility.
It was created by Trigger, an arts group led by Angie Bual, its artistic director. Ms Bual told the paper that she did not want a Queen Elizabeth look-alike in the part and that she cast the Singaporean dancer because of her ‘dynamic’ auditions.
‘She is a woman of colour and that is something we strongly stand by,’ said Ms Bual, adding that “Bridgerton’s casting is a ‘great example of how we can loosen up our unconscious bias and shake up who we usually see as role models.”
She added, “The Queen is such a role mode, obviously in this country and internationally, and I think we need to role model all types of diversity. It is a reflection of the make-up of Britain and London today.”
Ms Ho is the only dancer representing Queen Elizabeth.
“Princess and the Dragon” will open the “Let’s Celebrate” part of the Platinum Jubilee pageant, which is composed of four parts featuring over one hundred “national treasures.”
A crowd of 10,000 is expected to gather to watch the pageant as it travels down The Mall, before its grand finale outside Buckingham Palace.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is celebrated this year to mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne on Feb 8, 1952.
This is the first time that any British monarch is celebrating a Platinum Jubilee.
Buckingham Palace announced the celebration plans to mark the occasion on Jan 10, including an extra bank holiday from June 2 to 5.
A “once-in-a-generation show” was promised by the British government that would “mix the best of British ceremonial splendour and pageantry with cutting-edge artistic and technological displays.”
Governments of other Commonwealth nations and territories also announced plans to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, including Australia, Canada, Cayman Islands, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. /TISG
Princes William and Harry seen talking at Prince Philip’s funeral, Queen Elizabeth stands in solitude
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