Queen Elizabeth II hosts reception to celebrate 2017 UK-India Year of Culture

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

London [United Kingdom], March. 1 (ANI): Queen Elizabeth II hosted a reception in Buckingham Palace to celebrate 2017 UK-India Year of Culture. The Queen had extended an invitation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this reception. Prime Minister Modi nominated a delegation led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to represent him at the reception. The reception was attended by close to 200 eminent persons from the cultural arena including sports, theatre, dance, films, art, design, food etc. The Earl of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Eugenie also attended the reception. Upon arrival, the guests were treated to Indian-themed performances and a special Indian menu of canapes made by royal chefs working alongside chefs from royal chefs working alongside chefs from Veeraswamy, the UK's oldest Indian Restaurant. A projection of Indian motifs in the form of India's national bird, the peacock was projected on the facade of the Palace. This projection was done by the High Commission of India in the UK and British Council together, with the idea of creating an image to reflect the deep and intricate bonds of cultural heritage between the UK and India, on the occasion of the Reception. The idea was to create an image which would not only launch the Year of Culture, but also to surprise and intrigue people, encouraging them to follow the UK/India Year of Culture. During the reception, a royal collection display also gave guests a chance to see items from royal visits to India, as well as gifts and manuscripts from the Royal Library. Earlier in the day, the Band of Grenadier Guards displayed a selection of Indian themed music, including tracks from the film Slumdog Millionaire. To celebrate the 2017 year of culture, a host of events and exhibitions will take place in both UK and India, in partnership with the British Council, the Indian High Commission in London, UK institutions and their Indian counterparts. "This is a wonderful change of scene and I hope it means that there will be lots of partnerships and interesting joining ups of things. I mean, it's funny because I feel as if it's already happening. You know, I think these two countries have been in love with each other. It's like a marriage, we are sort of stuck together for some weird reason," said Ayesha Dharkar, a British-Indian actress who appeared in Hollywood blockbuster Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. "It's very important. I think we've had a relationship of course that is, what - 250 .. 260-years-old? Indian culture is one that is getting a lot of global attention at the moment and to have the country of England and the Queen and the government behind us is very important and to be part of it as an Indian artist is really a dream for me," said British-Indian actor and writer Kunal Nayyar, known for his role in U.S. sitcom The Big Bang Theory. (ANI)