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Raghu declares Diamond Jubilee concert “Amazing”.

A thrilled Raghu Dixit declared he had “kicked some serious ass” following his historic performance at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert at Windsor Castle on Sunday night.

The Hey Bhagwan singer was joined on stage by a dozen dancers performing a routine created by Raghu’s wife Mayuri Upadhya: the contemporary dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Bangalore’s Nritarutya Dance Academy.

Speaking to The UKAsian after the performance, Raghu said: “It’s the first time that my wife and I have collaborated on a project and it was an amazing experience to bring it all together in front of the Queen.  We definitely kicked some ass!”

The event, titled All The Queen’s Horses, was an international, theatrical extravaganza meant to celebrate the Queen’s standing in the countries of the Commonwealth as well as her lifelong love of all things equestrian.  

Some 556 horses from across the Commonwealth – from those serving with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to India’s famed Marwadi horses – joined more than 1000 performers, including Rolf Harris, Susan Boyle, Helen Mirren, Sanjeeve Bhaskar, classical quartet Il Divo, Country musician Abigail Washburn, South African performers from the West End show The Lion King and, of course, Raghu Dixit in celebrating the Queen’s 60th year on the throne.

“It was awesome, superb, memorable, a milestone.  It will be etched in my memory forever”, Mayuri said.  “Visually, it was amazing.  The performers, the horses, it was just a phenomenal event.  We were definitely not prepared to experience what hit us.”

As the dancers took to the stage – elaborate designed to resemble Buckingham Palace – alongside myriad Rajasthani puppets and with dozens of gallivanting horses before the stage, Raghu – resplendent as usual in his traditional get-up – gave a stirring rendition of Mysore se Aayi.  

It was a typically exuberant performance by a man whose very presence at the event spoke volumes about his phenomenal popularity in the UK.

Raghu, Mayuri and the other performers were greeted by the Queen and Prince Philip prior to the event.  “The Queen was exceedingly polite and courteous and she thanked me for coming all the way from India for the performance, which was very sweet of her”, Raghu says.

Asked about his impressions of the monarch, he added: “The Queen has a tremendous amount of energy.  I had a completely different picture of her.  Normally we expect someone in her position to be stoic and quite grave but she just came across as the grandma next door!”

‘All the Queen’s Horses’ will be broadcast on ITV1 on June 3.

–    Vijitha Alles

Photo Credit: Press Association