Santoor, Beatles and Indian food: Modi’s lunch date with British royals

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 13, 2016 12:43 IST
Britain's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on April 12. (Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for lunch, treating the royal couple to some Indian flavours, both in food and music.

The reception, which was held at the stately Hyderabad house on Tuesday noon, was also attended by accomplished personalities from various fields. However, it was the sartorial elegance of the host and the guests that stood out — Prince William in a dark suit and tie, his wife Kate Middleton in a knee-length blue dress, and Modi in a traditional white kurta and a cream jacket.

Read more | In pics: Modi has a royal treat for William and Kate

The lunch was hosted at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times)

What was more befitting was the musical lunch; strains of the santoor, played by Rahul Sharma, hummed in the air, and appropriately ended with a rendition of ‘Let it Be’, the popular number of the British band Beatles.

The music accompanied a four-course Indian fare of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.

The guest list included actor Anupam Kher, badminton maestro P Gopichand and industrialist Sunil Bharati Mittal. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and minister of state for information and broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore were also present, apart from national security adviser Ajit Doval and foreign secretary S Jaishankar.

Read more | Delhi’s Royal reception marks India’s ‘enduring friendship’ with Britain

Read more | Gush fest for British royals shows colonial charm, low self-esteem

The Duke and Duchess are in India on a week-long visit, and began their trip in Mumbai where they met with underprivileged children. Here in Delhi, the couple also visited the shelter of the Salaam Baalak Trust that works with street children in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday.

Earlier on Sunday, Bollywood’s A-listers hosted the couple at a charity gala in Mumbai, and were introduced to the reception by actors Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Read more | Stars and the royals: William and Kate get a taste of Bollywood

During their week-long tour, the royal couple will visit the Kaziranga National Park in Assam to see the one-horned rhino, aside from travelling to Bhutan, before returning to India on Saturday to visit the Taj Mahal.

Read more | From monument of love to 26/11 site: Royal couple’s date with Taj

Read more | In pics: Prince William, Kate celebrate birthday of the ‘boss’

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