British Royalty meets Bollywood
Ties, tuxedos and towering high heels on show for Royal India visit
Dubbed the ‘Royal Couple of the Orient’, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s week-long tour of India has been the ‘talk of the town …well every town really.
Some of the biggest names in the Indian film industry turned out to greet the royal guests. Film actors including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar were amongst the many famous stars welcoming the Duke and Duchess to India. The VIP event was attended by over 200 of India's top personalities.
Mumbai's prestigious Taj Palace Hotel played host and a lavish setting for the ultimate Bollywood party held in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 10th April.
And while it was a night of wall-to wall glamour, the evening's event hosted by The British High Commission in partnership with the British Asian Trust, the VIP event (allegedly £10,000 per head), had an important objective to raise money for vulnerable children.
Kate looked every inch a true Bollywood princess as she dazzled the evening wearing a beaded colbat blue Jenny Packham gown finished off with an ornate silver-beaded chiffon scarf. The outfit was matched with drop earrings, from luxury Indian jewellers Amrapali.
The couple mingled with India's most celebrated personalities from the worlds of film, sport and commerce, but Bollywood dominated the event with actors and actresses such as Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and wife Neetu Singh, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and director/producer Karan Johar just to name a few.
Reported by the Daily Mail, Madhuri Dixit described her meeting with Kate and William. She said: "We talked about Indian movies and how they're getting popular everywhere.
"The Duke admitted he hadn't watched any Bollywood movies but he represents the British film industry and was interested in collaboration.
"The Duchess said she loves being here and the people are very welcoming this time, but she was worried she may miss her children," Madhuri revealed.
Bollywood king Shah Rukh Khan, 50, and Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of the Serum Institute, had the pleasure of Kate sitting between them, while Will was happily flanked by Aishwarya Rai and Mrs Rachnee Sarna (wife of Rakesh Sarna CEO Taj Hotel).
A 'Maharaja's Thali' with both vegetarian and meat options was presented in regal style.
The moth-watering selection included a mushroom and pea curry, vegetable kebabs, spinach and corn curry, paneer, cauliflower rice, red lentil dahl and traditional mithai - such as gulab jamun, kesari rasmalai and paan kulfi.
The night was set alight with Bollywood-style entertainment, with music and dance performances from the Shiamak Davar dance company.
The reception also raised money for three organisations doing remarkable work with vulnerable children in Mumbai and across India– Childline India, Magic Bus and Door Step School, India.
British High Commissioner to India Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, said: “Their Royal Highnesses are delighted to have this opportunity to celebrate India’s notable contribution to cinema and to meet some of Mumbai’s most influential people in film, sport and business.
“The Duke and Duchess take a particular interest in initiatives that promote the welfare of disadvantaged children, helping them access education and health services. They are pleased that the funds raised at this event for these important organisations will create a small legacy of their visit to India.”
The partner organisation for the event was the British Asian Trust, of which HRH The Prince of Wales is founder and President of, supports grassroots initiatives that enables disadvantaged people to help themselves and transform their lives.
Manoj Badale, Chairman, The British Asian Trust said: “It was a series of visits made by HRH The Prince of Wales to South Asia in 2005 and 2006 that inspired the launch of The British Asian Trust and as we approach the tenth year since our launch, it is an honour to share our work with TRH The Duke and The Duchess of Cambridge, who have shown such a great interest in supporting the vulnerable children of India.”