Buckingham Palace rolls out UK-India Year of Culture | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Buckingham Palace rolls out UK-India Year of Culture

The India day at Buckingham Palace is part of a busy calendar of events that has been put together to celebrate the year, which also marks 70th year of India’s independence.

world Updated: Mar 05, 2017 17:32 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at an event to mark UK-India Year of Culture in London on Sunday.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at an event to mark UK-India Year of Culture in London on Sunday. (PTI)

The sights, sounds and food of India will merge with royalty in the Buckingham Palace on Monday as Queen Elizabeth prepares to welcome Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and a host of celebrities to launch the UK-India year of Culture 2017.

The year was announced during the November 2015 visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the Brexit vote six months later has prompted extra focus as India is among the top countries Britain is courting to compensate for the loss of European market.

The change of guards at the palace – widely watched by tourists and others – will take place to the tunes of the song ‘Jai Ho’ from Slumdog Millionaire, while chefs from Veeraswamy, the oldest Indian restaurant in London, will rustle up Indian-themed menu in the royal kitchen.

Jaitley, who is on a four-day visit mainly to represent India at the royal event, will be joined by celebrities such as Kapil Dev, Katrina Kaif, Joe Wright, Anoushka Shankar and Rio Ferdinand.

There will also be a display from the Royal Collection including items from previous royal visits to India, and Indian gifts and manuscripts from the Royal Library. 

Buckingham Palace noted Queen Elizabeth and her family have visited India several times. Her first state visit to India was in 1961, as the guest of the then president, Rajendra Prasad. She then visited India in 1983 and 1997, and received three incoming state visits from India (1963, 1990 and 2009). The most recent royal visit to India was by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2016.

The India day at Buckingham Palace is part of a busy calendar of events that has been put together to celebrate the year, which also marks 70th year of India’s independence.

It includes events by Indian and British institutions such as the British Film Institute, British Library, Kew Gardens, Open University and the Science Museum. Copies of the Magna Carta and Shakespeare’s First Folio are being exhibited in India.