‘A real honour’
A Bradford shopkeeper says he was extremely proud to live out a lifelong dream after visiting Buckingham Palace last week.
Ranbir Singh Rai, of Thornbury, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the local community both as a resident and in his role as president of a local Gurdwara in the city.
Mr Rai, who attended a garden party after a royal invite from Her Majesty the Queen, alongside his wife, Daljit Kaur Rai, says it was a humbling experience.
“I had a fantastic day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves,” he said. “I shook the hand of the Queen and met so many wonderful people there.
“When I think about it, it makes me very proud of myself to have been invited down to Buckingham Palace which is an absolutely beautiful place.”
Mr Rai was recognised for his work in the Bradford community of where he has been living for the past 35 years.
He thanked his family and friends for their support over the years as well as members of the Gurdwara.
“Without everybody’s support I would not have been able to do what I have done so I am very thankful to Bradford’s residents,” he added.
“I am a very proud Bradfordian and it is an honour to represent the city at Buckingham palace.”
Mr Rai has met prime ministers in the past, as well as a host of politicians yet this was the first time he had ever met a member of the Royal Family.
His work in the city sees him visit the House of Commons on a yearly basis and had only paid his last visit to the capital a fortnight before receiving the Royal invite.
Mr Rai is currently serving as president for the city’s Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara for a second term having previously held the position for seven years before leaving the post.