An Evening with Prince Charles
The evening of 12th February 2013 was simply unforgettable.
Mr. Neeraj Kanwar (my dear friend), in his capacity as the member of the International Advisory Council and Vice Chair of the Indian arm of the British Asian Trust, invited me on behalf of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, to the Annual Gala Dinner of the Trust.
The evening began with a 45-minute leisurely drive through a somber and cold British countryside, to Windsor Castle, one of the homes of the British Queen.
The security check was thorough but polite to the extreme, an art that perhaps only the British have mastered.
Windsor Castle is a very impressive building which exudes a subtle sense of power, dignity and solemnity – a sophisticated combination – displayed by very few architectures around the globe.
It was at the Waterloo Hall that 150 guests assembled for an evening of gracious dining and a continuing pledge to work together in bringing some of the basic living facilities to the poor around the globe.
My moments with Prince Charles were indeed precious and defining. I had taken with me a photograph of Prince Charles and my grandfather Mr. H. P. Nanda. It was taken many decades ago, when the Prince visited India to inaugurate the Bharat Yuva Shakti Trust, which today provides dedicated service to the poor in India.
Prince Charles, ever so gracious, epitome of poise and dignity, vividly recalled his visit to India and was indeed touched when I showed him this photograph. It was down memory lane for him and he spoke with me in his down-to-earth manner, mentioning it was very thoughtful of me to have shared this moment.
He spoke at length about the British Asian Trust and the splendid work it was engaged in, which makes a difference to the lives of hundreds of people.
And, sitting at a round table with a childhood friend of Prince Charles, it was a rare evening when I got a glimpse of the unique world of the British Royalty.
My salute and greetings to the all-too-human, all-too-austere future King of England, for a memorable evening and of course to my friend Neeraj, for making it all happen.