King Charles III would like to visit India “at the earliest opportunity”, a prominent British Indian businessman has said.
Lord Karan Bilimoria who met the King at a reception in parliament ahead of Saturday’s coronation ceremony, said the monarch “genuinely” wants to make a state visit to India which he “loves” and where “he has many friends.”
The head of the Commonwealth of Nations has visited the South Asian country 10 times as the Prince of Wales and expressed his deep appreciation for Indian practices like yoga.
He celebrated his 71st birthday with schoolchildren in Mumbai in 2019 which was his most recent visit to India.
Charles once stated had always been struck by India’s “extraordinary diversity” and its “deep well of creativity, ingenuity and resilience” which, he said, inspired him personally.
He has also been involved in helping communities in south Asia, including India, through the British Asian Trust he established in 2007.
Lord Bilimoria, who led a UK parliamentary delegation to India recently, told The Telegraph that he spoke with the King about the importance of a state visit to the country and “he said he’d love to go there soon”.
“I said it would help us a lot because his visit would really help with our trade relationship – we’re signing a free trade agreement. He said ‘Well I’d love to go’,” the Cobra Beer founder and former president of the Confederation of British Industry said.
The royal family has avoided any fresh diplomatic row with India during the upcoming royal event as Queen Consort Camilla has opted out of wearing the Kohinoor diamond at the coronation and instead decided to put on Queen Mary’s crown reset with the Cullinan diamonds.
The controversial Kohinoor diamond has its origin in India and its ownership has been disputed.
India’s vice president Jagdeep Dhankar will attend the coronation event on Saturday.