It may take a while, but dreams do come true, Boman Kohinoor will tell you. The owner of Mumbai’s iconic Britannia & Co. restaurant finally met the British Royal family on Sunday, fulfilling the 93-year-old fan’s long-held fantasy. Kohinoor was invited by Prince William and Kate Middleton for an out-of-schedule meeting at The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai.
“I met Their Royal Highnesses this evening at the Taj. They were very kind and asked me about my restaurant and my favourite dishes there,” Kohinoor told Condé Nast Traveller in a exclusive conversation. “I told them about the berry pulao and how it’s made using my late wife’s recipe. They asked me if I could cook. I said no, but I serve my customers well. I told them: give my love to the Queen, and to [your] children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, too. I wish I had more time to speak, but I’m thankful for this opportunity. And I’m grateful to [Condé Nast Traveller] for putting that video on the internet because of which this happened.”
The royal rendezvous took place after this video went viral. In the film, Kohinoor, who calls himself “the Royal family’s fan number 1”, invited Their Royal Highnesses to his restaurant for a meal.
In just three days, Kohinoor’s invitation was ‘liked’, ‘shared’ and ‘tweeted’ by thousands across the world, urging the Royal couple to meet their adorable fan.
Soon, other websites got behind Kohinoor.
Word spread, the cheers grew and finally, on Sunday, the phone rang. “This morning, Papa was dressed and insisted he wanted to go to the Oval Maidan [for a glimpse of the Royal couple],” his son Afshin Kohinoor said. “But at the last minute, he had cramps in his leg and we dropped the idea. Then, when the call came, he became very nervous. It took a while to prepare and take him to see Their Royal Highnesses,” he said. “I am very thankful to Condé Nast Traveller for giving my aged father this chance.”
Kohinoor Sr’s royal fascination is quite legendary. His restaurant has life-size portraits of the Queen, and Prince William with Kate Middleton. To anyone with a moment to spare, Kohinoor shows off the letters and pictures sent by the Queen. His collection now has one more picture of the Royal couple, this time with a beaming Parsi gentleman.
With inputs from Prasad Ramamurthy