McKellen attends birthday party for Queen Elizabeth II in Mumbai

Mumbai, May 26 (IANS) Award-winning British actor and Shakespeare ambassador Ian McKellen was special guest at a reception hosted by the British Deputy High Commissioner Shekhar Iyer here on Thursday evening to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.

“It is wonderful to be here today. The queen has never asked me to be for her birthday party before. I did see her quite recently when I met her to pickup a medal which was for my services to drama and equality,” said Sir Ian, who is known for playing Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film franchises.

“I am thankful to the British Council who got me here. It’s touching to make contact with other people from theatre, film and Bollywood,” he added.

The reception also celebrated the works of William Shakespeare.

British High Commissioner Dominic Asquith was also present but Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis could not attend following a major blast at a chemical plant in neighbouring Thane district.

This annual celebration of the queen’s birthday is traditionally the British Deputy High Commission’s biggest event of the year.

It is hosted by British embassies and high commissions across the world any time in a period from April (the queen was born on April 21, 1926) and June, since it has long been the British tradition o celebrate the monarch’s birthday on summer day, regardless of their actual date of birth.

–IANS

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