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A reception party at Taj Bengal to mark the coronation of King Charles

The programme décor was mindful of King Charles’s concern for the environment

The Telegraph | Published 07.06.23, 05:20 AM

The Telegraph

A mio ekjon gorbito Bangali,” the words in accented Bengali from the host of the evening’s reception, the acting British deputy high commissioner Peter Cook, caused a mild stir in the audience at Taj Bengal. When he went on to explain that he was born in Woodlands Hospital, not far from the venue, several faces eased into warm smiles. “I am especially proud to be celebrating this historic moment in the city of my birth which has deep links with the United Kingdom and the royal family,” Cook said. The historic moment was the coronation of King Charles, to celebrate which the British deputy high commission was hosting the reception. Cook, on deputation in the city for two months then, went on to list the Indian links to the coronation programme as also the city’s link with the departed monarch through the recently renamed Queen Elizabeth Memorial Cup at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club. He also read out the new king’s message to those celebrating the occasion in the Commonwealth and around the globe. The programme décor was mindful of King Charles’s concern for the environment. The carbon footprint of the event, it was mentioned, was 3700kgCO2e and guests were urged to help neutralise the emission by contributing to two programmes — one on reforestation of degraded land in three states and another on sustainable kitchen solutions in two locations. Guests returned with a special edition caddy from Darjeeling, containing Coronation Tea. “It is on the menu at Buckingham Palace too,” Cook said, mentioning the king’s preference for tea from the hill station’s gardens. Some elements with coronation links also made it to the night’s menu, like Chicken Quiche, chosen by the king as the Coronation Dish. There was also coronation chicken, which had been Queen Elizabeth’s dish of choice for her coronation 70 years ago, and other British staples like Fish and Chips, Eton Mess, Sticky Toffee Pudding… There was also a loose approximation of Chicken Trifle. “We have not been able to replicate it exactly as the recipe has one or two ingredients difficult to acquire in Bengal,” Cook admitted. There was Scottish whisky on offer to wash down the evening’s royal repast.

Last updated on 07.06.23, 05:20 AM
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