Official detailed announcement of the itinerary for their India trip is here. Very exciting! I immediately read it over for guesses as to what famous film figures they might get to meet.
(yes, that is Prince Charles, Camilla, and Kajol and Ajay in the top photos)
They are staying at the Taj, of course, because everyone stays at the Taj. So on arrival from the airport in Bombay, the first public action will be meeting the staff who survived 26/11 and laying a wreath on the memorial.
And then, to cheer us all up, a trip to the Oval Maidan! Which is the first possible chance for a film figure to horn in on the trip. I think we have all learned that film and 26/11 should stay very far apart (yes, Ritiesh Deshmukh, you deserved to lose your career for trying to capitalize on it), so no one is going to try to take focus from that part. But cricket, heck, that’s practically just another branch of film!
The Duke and Duchess are supposed to be watching a children’s Cricket match, but if you wanted to stretch a point, it would be completely appropriate for Cricket team owners Shahrukh Khan, Shilpa Shetty, or Juhi Chawla. Or Cricket players like Virat Kohli might show up with their famous movie star girlfriends (or former girlfriends? What’s Anoushka’s status now? Although if I were her, and I had a chance of meeting the Prince and Princess, I would make up with him just long enough to get an invite). And, of course, Sharmila Tagore, Saif, Soha, and Kareena could always grab an invite on the strength of being the widow, son, daughter, and daughter-in-law of the former Indian Cricket Team Captain, Tiger Khan (I love that nickname. Also, he had one eye. How do you even hit a ball with no depth perception?).
And then it is on to Malabar Hill! Where, officially, they will be visiting this beautiful old water tank.
(Hey! I think I’ve seen this in movies!)
But unofficially, they could also stop by the homes of Akshay Khanna, Vinod Kumar, and Shammi Kapoor’s widow. Who is of course the aunt of Kareena Kapoor, married to Saif Ali Khan, who could also in theory be at the Cricket match. They could carpool together!
And finally, that night, party party! Definitely 100% guaranteed that they will hang out with Amitabh and Jaya, and Tina Munim Ambani. The 3 Khans might be too much of a political hot potato, but we can hope! I really want to see Kate get all blush-y when exposed to the SRK charm. And to see a photo of her towering over Aamir. And then there will be the assorted “wait, how did they get an invite?” people. An assortment of faded stars from yesteryears and upcoming starlets and star sons who somehow worked their connections and got an in. Probably also the Tagore/Khans will swing an invite, with the combo of movie star/Cricket star/related to the Nobel prize winner Tagore/Royal/movie stars (another carpool?).
(100% guaranteed you will see this woman shake hands with the future King of the United Kingdom. But Sanjay will probably not be invited.)
The Prince and Princess have another event scheduled the next morning. Which leads to my second guess, that they will leave the party “early” (for India, so around midnight), and everyone else will keep hanging out until the usual 3am or 4am. Next day, they are supposed to meet with “young entrepreneurs” at a bar. So, a young India event. And basically every movie star has some side business they are running, from Jacqueline Fernandez’ restaurants to Shahrukh’s Red Chillies. So really, anyone could wrangle an invitation to this thing. Including, Dinesh Vijan, struggling film producer, whose business partner just happens to be, Saif Ali Khan (I just like the idea of him popping up all over the place).
And then it is on to Delhi! Where they could easily be greeted by Sharmila Tagore, and family. Since they have maintained enough of a presence in that city that Kareena and Saif needed a second, Delhi specific, wedding reception. Or, Shahrukh could be a surprise tour guide for his hometown (which would tie nicely into his Fan promotions, since I think the first half of the movie is also supposed to be set there). Or, Aamir could interrupt their Delhi Gate wreath laying to talk about his film Rang De Basanti and how it changed the Delhi Gate imagery for ever and ever for all time.
Next, Gandhi museum! Fun! Do you think there is any chance that Sanjay Dutt might be invited to give them the tour because of Lage Raho Munna Bhai? Probably not, right? But the Tagore/Khans are, once again, a believable option. Since Rabindranath Tagore was one of the most important non-Gandhi members of the Indian independence movement.
(See! He knows all about Gandhi!)
And then, party party! A Birthday party for the Queen at the High Commissioners house. Now, this is where I could see the slightly more political people show up. Tagores again and always. But maybe Aamir is slightly more likely here than at the Bombay party. Possibly Anapum Kehr as well if they want to balance the guest list. Maybe Katrina? She does still have a British passport, right? Oh! And Kangana! She always talks about not liking the normal filmi parties, but something with a bunch of diplomats and politicians and earnest do-gooders seems just about right for her.
Followed by yet to be announced visits to NGOs working with at risk youth in Delhi city. Shahrukh’s got to have a Delhi based NGO, right? One of those things he supports and doesn’t talk about? Definitely possible there. Or, Being Human could open a last minute Delhi branch. Or, Madhuri could show up and do a song from Gulab Gang and talk about rights for women.
(Or this! Because she’s supposed to be a prostitute here!)
And then it’s on to a national park in Assam! Okay, no one is connected to Assam. Which is kind of the problem! The place needs to be more integrated into the National culture! And the first step (so far as my interests are concerned), would be to get a more famous actor than Seema Biswas. Although one of Seema’s Hindi roles was in Ek Hasina Tha, which also stared…..Saif Ali Khan! And, if I were Saif, giving a tour of a wildlife sanctuary would probably be a good public relations move, seeing as his Black Buck pouching case is still pending.
(Look! He has experience in wild animal parks!)
And then, on to Bhutan! Where I can only assume they will be greeted by Danny Denzongpa. Because who doesn’t love Danny? (yes, I know his family is actually from Sikkim, but ethnically he has ties to Bhutan as well).
(Danny! In Bang Bang! 67 years old, and still rocking the ascot!)
Big event in Bhutan, besides bonding with their fellow young royal couple, is a visit to a remote Buddhist temple. Where they could be greeted by Barkha Madan, former Miss India contestant (same year as Aish and Sush), co-star in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi, and Buddhist nun since 2012.
(Yes, the movie where Rekha seduces Akshay)
And finally, on to the Taj Mahal! Where Aish could do her little dance for them.
(It is a miracle!)
I am so excited about this whole thing! I mean, I do know that, realistically, they will probably only interact with the film industry a few times and with a few people. But it’s kind of amazing how much film and culture are intertwined, that there is a potential connection with every event!