An Indian-origin chef is among the BEM recipients who have been invited to King Charles’ coronation


Manju Malhi will attend the Coronation ceremony with the other 850 BEM recipients after receiving a BEM for her contributions to the London community during the COVID-19 reaction.

The British Empire Medal (BEM) recipients on the royal invitation list for King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation ceremony in London next month included an Indian-origin cook who works with a senior citizens organisation in the UK, Buckingham Palace revealed on Saturday.

Manju Malhi, who received a BEM for her contributions to the London community during the COVID-19 response, will attend the ceremony in Westminster Abbey on May 6 together with the other 850 BEM recipients, community leaders, and charity representatives from all around the UK.

Malhi is a professional chef who has served as the Resident Chef for the charity Open Age since 2016. Open Age promotes an active life for adults over 50 in London by assisting them in maintaining their physical and mental fitness, leading an active lifestyle, and discovering new hobbies.

The palace statement states that Manju “turned Open Age’s kitchen into a cookery school and restaurant for members and staff, and offered remote cookery classes during COVID-19.”

Manju also oversees the Big Local Family Cooking Club of the Open Age neighbourhood. The workshops are entertaining, informative, and a chance for locals of various backgrounds to gather together, prepare a meal, and eat it as a community family, it continues.

The chef and food writer, who is of British descent and specialises in Anglo-Indian cuisine, was raised in north-west London.

Her early years were spent in India, where she got to know the diverse food of her ancestral home and experienced it firsthand.

Malhi, who often participates in cooking demonstrations on television, has created a cuisine she dubs “Brit-Indi,” which combines inspirations from both India and the west.

The late Queen Elizabeth II presented the chef with her BEM, an accolade given to those who have demonstrated a continuous commitment to assist a local charitable or volunteer activity or creative work that has had a significant positive impact on the community.

The BEM gives special recognition to local community service accomplishments or contributions. Many of the 450 BEM recipients who attended the Coronation Service, according to the palace, were crucial in helping their local communities during the COVID-19 lockdowns by offering services and support.

The King, Queen, and UK government have also named about 400 champions from the larger community.

They are made up of 200 young people who are associated with the Prince’s Trust, Prince’s Foundation, Barnardo’s, the National Literacy Trust, and Ebony Horse Club, among other charitable organisations that have had long-standing support from the royal family.

They will be among the select few who can view the special Coronation service and procession from Westminster Abbey’s St. Margaret’s Church.

The 12th-century church at the Abbey in London is referred to as “the Church on Parliament Square.” The palace stated that it is believed that this is the first coronation to be held in St. Margaret’s, Westminster Abbey, with young people as guests.

Other attendees will be from groups that the British government has designated to provide stewarding, route lining, and first aid services on Coronation Day around London. These groups include the Scout Association, Girlguiding UK, St. John Ambulance, and the National Citizen Service.

As the former Royal Patron of the Scout Association, Girlguiding UK, and Barnardo’s, it is also a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

The Coronation is being planned on a huge scale, and will be celebrated in the UK between May 6 and May 8 with a number of grand events, including street parties and much pomp and splendour.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to travel to the UK’s capital to see the “unique and historic occasion,” while millions more are expected to watch from home in the UK and throughout the world, according to Buckingham Palace.

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