The high profile event was attended by a broad spectrum of influential Zimbabweans from a cross section of society. The Shakespeare theme, including presentations of Shakespeare's enduring global influence and a video booth with traditional costumes to allow guests to "play their part" and quote their favourite Shakespeare lines, was well received by Zimbabweans who continue to study Shakespeare at school.
Updating guests on the United Kingdom-Zimbabwe bilateral relations, Ambassador Catriona Laing said:
I want to reassure Zimbabweans that we will act to support the process of international re-engagement. Together with the Deputy Foreign Minister I jointly chair a bilateral dialogue between the UK and Zimbabwe where we discuss some of the difficult issues between us. We will continue to hold frank and honest discussions based on mutual respect. On our side we will continue to emphasise the importance of a shared appreciation of the rule of law and human rights.
The reception was held at the Residence gardens with speeches delivered from the Elizabethan Tudor-style theatre set constructed in preparation for a Shakespeare theatre performance of Much Ado About Nothing. The total number of guests to Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday doubled this year to 721 from 348 guests last year with a significantly higher proportion of Zimbabweans.
Corporate sponsors that include Premier Auto, Star Travel and DeVere's supported the event.
You can read the full text of Ambassador Laing's speechhere.