Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was honoured by France with a prestigious civilian award for her contribution to art today on her birthday.
Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India was present to confer the honour of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres),the second highest civilian French honour on her.
"I want to thank the French government for honouring me with this award. It is truly overwhelming," Aishwarya told reporters here. "Also, I take this opportunity to thank everyone who I have worked with as they made it possible for me to have such a glorious career," she said.
Aishwarya's entire family including husband Abhishek, in-laws Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya were present. Aishwarya, who turned 39 today, took the Miss World crown in 1994 and made her acting debut in 1997. She starred in films in various languages including English, Tamil, Telugu, and Bengali. She is a regular on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.
Her father-in-law, megastar Amitabh Bachchan was awarded France's highest civilian award, the Legion d'Honneur in 2007. One can recollect that in 2009, Aishwarya was to be conferred upon the same award but she did not accept it because her father Krishnaraj Rai was unwell.