'Empire's last daughter' misses Mumbai | india | Hindustan Times
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'Empire's last daughter' misses Mumbai

Alice Patten, daughter of the last British Governor in Hong Kong misses Mumbai's life after her stint in Rang De Basanti.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 19:10 IST
Vijay Dutt

The route to fame in Britain for most actors, it seems, is via Bollywood, which is now recognised for world-class productions. The latest example is that of Alice Patten, daughter of the present Chancellor of Oxford University and the last British Governor in Hong Kong. She had never been written about or interviewed as much nor recognised generally for her acting talents as after her stint in Rang De Basanti.

Ironically, she is the girl who had cried as Hong Kong blipped out of the Empire. "It became a symbol that day," she reminisces, "The human face of a little bit of history." They loved her in Hong Kong and she and her two sisters were dubbed the three Graces.

Her family was waited upon by 47 flunkies. They served her tea wearing white gloves. It was again at Mumbai that she found bits of Hong Kong.

She says, "Bombay is extraordinary, but there is hierarchy you will never find in London." She also revealed that Aamir Khan had 20 staff all the time with him.

Patten found her five-month stint there 'surreal'. Yet back is London she finds life woefully grey. She misses Mumbai life, specially "when I get frustrated with the small-mindedness of England," she says. Some compliment this. No wonder a few here calls her the Empire's last daughter.