Published 11 April 2016

This is the first time Catherine and I have been to India and we have been incredibly impressed to see just how much this great country is on the move, and how India’s dynamism is matched by the warmth and welcome of its diverse people.

The Duke of Cambridge

Thank you, High Commissioner, for your introduction and thank you, distinguished guests, Ministers, and all, for being here tonight.

Tonight, we are celebrating the links between our two countries. This is the first time Catherine and I have been to India and we have been incredibly impressed to see just how much this great country is on the move, and how India’s dynamism is matched by the warmth and welcome of its diverse people.

I am honoured that we also have a chance, tonight, to celebrate a very happy milestone for the United Kingdom and for my family in particular.

Next week, Her Majesty The Queen, my grandmother, turns 90.  I am so grateful to all of you for turning out tonight to help us mark that occasion.

The Queen is very fond of India, having visited this great country three times during her reign. And India of course is the biggest country in the Commonwealth, the family of nations to which she has committed so much of her life’s work. India’s contribution to the Commonwealth is something that is enormously important to her.

As my grandmother’s birthday gives us a chance to celebrate the partnership between our nations, I hope you don’t mind if I take the opportunity to pay tribute to The Queen on a more personal note.

I am incredibly lucky to have my grandmother in my life.  As she turns 90, she is a remarkably energetic and dedicated guiding force for her family.

And I am so glad that my children are having the chance to get to know The Queen.  George and Charlotte, too, will discover how lucky they are to have such a wonderful great-grandmother – a role model for the rest of their lives.

Now, it is important that everyone here tonight understands that I am here as The Queen’s representative. She may be my grandmother, but she is also very much the boss! And with that in mind, she has given me a message that I am privileged to read out to you all tonight:

Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to all you attending this special Garden Party.

I am delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been able to join you this afternoon during their visit to your country. 

I have fond memories of our previous visits to India.  This event today is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the enduring friendship between our two countries, our shared culture and the business opportunities we can create together. 

It is with great pleasure that I entrust another generation of my family to strengthen and renew our bonds. 

Signed, Elizabeth R.

Now I can report back to Granny that I have done my duty! 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining with us to wish The Queen a very happy birthday.  Bahot dhanyavaad.