Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, has died at the age of 96. Her son, Prince Charles, is now king. But few people remember that Bollywood actor Padmini Kolhapure once kissed the future king and was then recognized in Britain as “the woman who kissed Prince Charles”. Also read: Queen Elizabeth II: Her best screen portrayals from Queen to the Crown
Padmini greeted King Charles on the sets of her 1981 film Ahista Ahista, thrusting a meringue in his face in the heat. She put a garland around his neck, kissed his cheek and laughed before leaving. That was enough to make headlines in India and Britain, and it did.
In an interview with the Hindustan Times in 2007, Padmini said, “It was just a jab in the face…the media took it somewhere else. It was no big deal.”
She later revealed that kissing the current king made her known as ‘the woman who kissed Prince Charles’. Talking about the incident, she told the Times of India in a 2013 interview, “He was visiting Mumbai and I don’t know what he was thinking that he wanted to see the shoot. We shot for Ahista Ahista at Rajkamal Studios. Shashikala ji did his Indian aarti and I just greeted him with a kiss on the cheek. But it became a big deal in those days. I remember going to London on holiday and this British immigration officer asked me: ‘Are you the same person who kissed Prince Charles?’ I was left embarrassed.”
Padmini Kolhapure is among the most successful actors in Bollywood. She was at the height of her career in the late 70s, 80s and early 90s. Ahista Ahista had Padmini as Chandra, the daughter of a courtesan. It also starred Shammi Kapoor, Nanda, Kunal Kapoor and Shashikala.
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