Bollywood's 'Shahenshah' Amitabh Bachchan declines date with Queen Elizabeth II
Amitabh Bachchan and Queen Elizabeth II
This Monday, Queen Elizabeth II will host the UK-India Year of Culture launch at the Buckingham Palace in the presence of high profile guests from both countries. Amitabh Bachchan had been extended a special invitation by the Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke Of Edinburgh, but the Bollywood superstar will be giving it a miss.
Sources close to the veteran actor, arguably India's biggest cultural icon, blame it on a packed diary. "Prior commitments are making it impossible for him to fly to London for the gala. He has already extended his regret to the invitation, citing pre-scheduled commitments, but is honoured to receive a special invite from Buckingham Palace," a source says.
Big B's publicist confirms, "Yes, Mr Bachchan has been extended a rare invitation by Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham Palace to grace the UK-India Cultural Year reception. Unfortunately, however, he will be unable to attend due to prior commitments."
Bachchan's choc-a-bloc diary includes the trailer launch of Ram Gopal Varma's 'Sarkar 3' in the first week of March. He is also gearing up for Vijay Krishna Acharya's 'Thugs of Hindostan' with Aamir Khan and Gaurang Doshi's 'Aankhen 2'. His other projects include Ayan Mukherji's 'Dragon', a Kabir Khan production and a film with 'Sairat' (2016) director Nagraj Manjule.