5 APRIL 1990 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ATTEND THE STATE BANQUET GIVEN BY INDIAN PRESIDENT SRI RAMASWAMI VENKATARAMAN

5 APRIL 1990 THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ATTEND THE STATE BANQUET GIVEN BY INDIAN PRESIDENT SRI RAMASWAMI VENKATARAMAN

imageTHE PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES ARRIVE AT THE STATE BANQUET GIVEN BY INDIAN PRESIDENT SRI RAMASWAMI VENKATARAMAN AT ST JAMES COURT HOTEL, IN LONDON 5 APRIL 1990
imagePresident Sri Ramaswamy Venkataraman and his wife, Shrimali Venkataraman, paid a State Visit to the United Kingdom from 3-6 April 1990. On the evening of April 5, 1990, The President held a banquet for the Queen at the St James Court Hotel (now the Crown Plaza) in Buckingham Gate.
image“It was a night to remember,” recalls Sam Bhadha, then the hotel’s general manager, who had the “Tata family’s personal gold cutlery” flown in from India, along with “80 dozen mangoes, 80 dozen pomegranates, 60 dozen chickoos and 60 dozen custard apples”.
imageThe Duke of Edinburgh turned to Satish Arora, one of the chefs who had come from the Taj group in India, and declared: “The dosa (fermented crepe made of rice flour and black lentils) was excellent — are you from south India?”

Sam, now resident in New York as executive vice-president of the Highgate Hotels group that includes the Radisson Lexington, is reckoned by the Bollywood fraternity and Indian tycoons to be the best hotelier in the world.
imageimageimageThat night, he says, “the Queen, Charles and Diana looking very beautiful, the Gloucesters, Princess Margaret were all there — the biggest gathering of royals at one banquet — plus Margaret Thatcher.

Ravi Shankar played the sitar in the courtyard.”

Princess Diana meets Ravi Shakar

Princess Diana meets Ravi Shankar

Catherine Walker pink duchesse satin gown with shawl collar and cuff in white raw silk.

Catherine Walker pink duchesse satin gown with shawl collar and cuffs in white raw silk.

Bhadha remembers: “Prince Charles had a dosa stuffed with lobster but ‘Why is yours different?’, he asked the president, who cut half of his vegetarian dosa, stuffed with wild mushrooms, and passed it to Prince Charles. We whipped Prince Charles’s plate away and ordered him a fresh dosa — it caused chaos in the kitchens.”

Programme and Menu from the night of the State Banquet

Programme and Menu from the night of the State Banquet

The Queen and Prince Philip have made state visits to India in 1961, 1983 and in 1997.
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The Telegraph of Calcutta

4 APRIL 1989 PRINCESS DIANA ATTENDS THE HELP THE AGED INDUSTRY & COMMERCE LUNCHEON AT CLARIDGES IN LONDON

4 APRIL 1989 PRINCESS DIANA ATTENDS THE HELP THE AGED INDUSTRY & COMMERCE LUNCHEON AT CLARIDGES IN LONDON

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Tuesday, April 4, 1989: Diana attends the Help The Aged Industry and Commerce Committee Luncheon at Claridges in London in her capacity as Patron.
image imageThe Help the Aged Committee on Industry and Commerce was tasked with engaging large brand advertisers and marketing companies to respond to the ageing population with meaningful and effective advertising.  Marketing to an ageing population has its own special problems, but the Help the Aged spokesman, Mervyn Kohler, had hoped to persuade advertisers at the meeting to explore the commercial opportunities that were available.
imageThe Royal Teeth: It was just the Friday before the luncheon that she had had dental surgery but she told the crowd outside that she was feeling fine.
imageDiana had slipped out of a London hospital on Saturday, April 1, 1989 eluding the crowd of photographers outside, and hurried home to Kensington Palace to recuperate from the removal of four wisdom teeth. The day after the surgery at the King Edward VII Hospital, Diana left by a side exit and sent her dresser, Evelyn Dagley, to the front door laden with suitcases and bouquets.
imageHer personal dental surgeon, John Simons, handled the 90-minute operation, which was such big news that it was announced ahead of the special programme for the 100th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower on the BBC midday television news.
image Prince Charles took their sons Prince William and Prince Harry to Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Friday, March 31, 1989 for a brief holiday while Diana recuperated.  He is pictured below arriving at Aberdeen Station in Scotland.
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