After bhangra, it’s Bollywood’s turn to rock Buckingham Palace | world | Hindustan Times
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After bhangra, it’s Bollywood’s turn to rock Buckingham Palace

After honouring a bhangra singer and choosing Sikhs to be her personal bodyguards, Britain’s reigning monarch has notched up another first by hosting a racy Bollywood dance in her gentle royal residence.

world Updated: Oct 15, 2009 01:55 IST

After honouring a bhangra singer and choosing Sikhs to be her personal bodyguards, Britain’s reigning monarch has notched up another first by hosting a racy Bollywood dance in her gentle royal residence.

Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Phillip and Princess Michael of Kent were among British royals who watched dancers from the British Asian group Nutkhut swing to the throbbing rhythms of Bollywood tunes in steps that could have come right out of a film set in Mumbai.

The event, an advance reception in honour of the October-end visit by President Pratibha Patil, was held on Tuesday in the ornate ballroom in Buckingham Palace — the largest of its 775 rooms and one that is more used to hosting stately dinners than Bollywood shows.

“I was watching the performance and thinking this is the place where the head of state has sat and received people,” said Meera Syal, a well-known actor of Indian origin.

Nutkhut’s Ajay Chhabra, who jointly choreographed the 15-minute show, titled Bollywood Steps, with his wife Simmy Gupta, said: “We felt the setting lent itself to a film set — the columns, the fabric of the canopy — the bling of it stood out.”

After the show, the 83-year-old Queen congratulated the performers.

The guests included steel tycoon Swraj Paul, cricketers Samit Patel and Monty Panesar, footballer Michael Chopra, among others.

The queen included Punjabi bhangra singer Malkit Singh in the royal honours list in 2008 and enrolled two Sikhs — Simranjit Singh and Sarvjit Singh — as her personal bodyguards in July this year.