A Filipino chauffeur who has worked for the British Embassy in Manila for 33 years and driven royalty has been honoured by the Queen.
Roland Quitevis — who has served as official driver to eight British Ambassadors to the Philippines — has been awarded the British Empire Medal, the embassy announced today (Tuesday, July 23).
Ambassador Daniel Pruce said: “I am delighted to announce that Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II has honoured Mr Roland Quitevis with the British Empire Medal for his services to UK-Philippine Relations.
“This is a thoroughly well-deserved recognition of Roland’s long service at the Embassy, mostly spent as the Ambassador’s driver.”
The British Empire Medal is awarded for “meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown”.
In a short self-penned biography, Mr Quitevis recounted how he came to Manila from Ilocos Sur at the age of 22 and found a job as a messenger at the British Embassy.
“After I was regularised, I obtained the necessary skills and was promoted to become the official driver of the Ambassador,” he wrote.
“I remember being so grateful for the opportunity, which is why I have always loved every single day of it – come monsoon rains, heavy Manila traffic and day-to-day encounters with British Embassy staff in action.”
Mr Quitevis took two advanced driving courses in the UK, in 1999 and in 2013.
His skills as a chauffeur were so respected that he was repeatedly trusted with the task of driving senior members of the British royal family — Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Charles.
“For me, every moment with all the Ambassadors has been unforgettable, as they have treated me like family and always with utmost respect,” Mr Quitevis said.
“I felt so grateful when I was awarded the Service Recognition Award for excellent service rendered by Ambassador Stephen Lillie.
“But the defining moment that I will always treasure was when Ambassador Daniel Pruce presented me the opportunity of receiving the Honorary British Empire Medal.”
Last week we reported on another Filipino honoured by the Queen for services to the UK.
Nurse Joy Ongcachuy, who works at the Royal London Hospital, was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or OBE, for her role in the aftermath of the London Bridge terror attack.
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