The best of British and Indian culture has been celebrated by the Queen at a glittering Buckingham Palace reception attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The event, held to launch the UK-India Year of Culture 2017, marked the close ties between the two nations.
The Big Bang Theory star Kunal Nayyar said he was left “overwhelmed” by a glittering Buckingham Palace reception.
Other guests included former India cricket captain Kapil Dev, musician Anoushka Shankar – daughter of legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar – and her husband film director Joe Wright, and former EastEnders actress Nina Wadia.
Greeting those invited was the sight of the palace decorated with a peacock – the national bird of India – projected onto the facade of the famous London landmark, an artwork commissioned by the British Council and the Indian High Commission.
The Anglo-Indian theme of the night was reflected in the canapes on offer, with guests having the choice of spice-rich delicacies or traditional western-style morsels.
Mark Flanagan, head chef at Buckingham Palace’s kitchens, and Uday Salunkhe, executive chef at Veeraswamy, said to be the UK’s oldest Indian restaurant, led their respective teams as they spent six weeks devising the menu.
Raj puri – fried unleavened bread with yoghurt herbs – and boondi chocolate rock, fried chickpea flour kernels covered in chocolate, were served alongside salmon blinis and rhubarb and creme brulee tartlets.
Kate wore a sparkling outfit by Erdem and paid homage to the Asian guests by wearing a pair of earrings by Indian designer Anita Dongre, while the Queen was dressed in a purple Stewart Parvin dress and jacket.