The Queen of England, Elizabeth II, passed away on 8 September at the age of 96.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
She was the longest-serving monarch with 70 years of reign in the United Kingdom and several commonwealth realms.
Throughout her reign, several letters were written to the palace from all over the former kingdom. While India, given its colonial past, has a complex relationship with her, there are a few individuals who shared correspondence with the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Here are four Indians who received letters from the Queen:
The 93-year-old fanboy
Boman Kohinoor, late owner of the Britannia eatery, called himself the British Royal Family’s biggest fan. Over the years, he collected much memorabilia, like a portrait of the Queen, sent to him during her diamond jubilee celebrations. Around that time, he also received life-size cutouts of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton. His most prized possession however is a letter from the Queen, thanking him for his letter and “loyal sentiments”.
An unexpected fusion
The late singer and composer Bappi Lahiri also received a letter of appreciation from the Queen for composing the track Long Live Our Queen. It’s a fusion of the Ganesh Vandana with a prayer blessing the Queen to a long life. The letter was in response to a CD Bappi da had sent at her 60th coronation ceremony. “The letter took me by surprise and [I] was touched by her courteousness,” he said in an interview with Times of India.
The artistic twins
In Thrissur, Kerala, twin sisters, Anlit and Anlin also received correspondence from the palace. In 2021, when they were in class 6, the girls received a letter of appreciation from the Queen for their letter inviting her to visit ‘God’s Own Country’. They also included paintings they made of Thrissur Pooram and the Alappuzha backwaters. Although the letter stated that the Queen wouldn’t be able to fulfil their request, it appreciated their “neatly written letters” and “splendid pictures”.
Poetry for Princess Diana
After learning about the passing of Princess Diana, Goa-based Mr Rajendra Prasad Pal sent a poem, with condolence wishes, to the palace. “For him, Princess Diana was like a bridge the Royal Family was building with the public, changing the way the monarchy is perceived,” says his daughter Sanchari Pal. Mr RP Pal was surprised to hear back from the Queen, thanking him for his “kind message”. The letter added that the entire royal family was grateful for his sympathy during the sad time. “He’s kept that letter framed,” adds Sanchari.
When Kohinoor met the British royal couple! by India Today, 11 April 2016
Will the Royal family visit Britannia? by Conde Nast Traveller, 7 April 2016
When Bappi Lahiri received letter of appreciation from Queen Elizabeth. On Throwback Thursday by Samriddhi Srivastava, India Today, 17 February 2022
The Queen appreciates Bappi Lahiri’s thoughtfulness by Parag Maniar, Entertainment Times, 4 August 2013
Kerala twins receive letter from Queen Elizabeth II by ETV Bharat, 3 May 2021
Edited by Yoshita Rao