When British press wrote that Charles was ‘ditching’ the Queen to host the ‘spectacularly rich’ Gulshan Grover

Gulshan Grover became known as the ‘Bad Man’ of Bollywood after he appeared in several villainous roles in the 1980s and 1990s. It is well known that Gulshan Grover could have been a Bond villain in Casino Royale, but the actor lost out on that role after an over-enthusiastic friend leaked the news to the press. The makers were caught off-guard and decided to recast the role but during the time when Grover was being finalised to appear in the Bond film, he was spending time with (now) King Charles III.

In his memoir titled ‘Bad Man: An Autobiography’, Gulshan recalled that he was an invited guest of the then Prince Charles at Clarence House in London’s St James Palace. Grover recalled that this was not his first meeting with the royal and he was received as his guest and seated in his personal study. The Ram Lakhan actor recalled that on this particularly cold day, Charles greeted him. “As I ascended the last stair, I found H.R.H. (His Royal Highness) waiting for me in the hallway. ‘Look at you, looking marvellous, getting younger every day!’ he exclaimed, leading me down the corridor and into his private chamber,” he wrote. It was at the end of this meeting that one of the executives with the royal asked Gulshan about his casting as the news had already been printed and it seemed like he was impressed.

Gulshan recalled that his first meeting with the royal Prince was at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. The Sadak 2 actor shared that the Prince gave him a tour of the estate himself as he felt like he was with a “familiar friend rather than a British royal.” The two struck a friendship as Charles asked how he could get in touch with Gulshan and left everyone shocked.

“As he was walking away, HRH suddenly turned and asked, ‘Hey, Gulshan, how can I get in touch with you?’ That query took everyone by surprise, including me. Being a star and a familiar name, I had never had visiting cards printed. Fortunately, I did have a press kit I usually handed out to Hollywood executives during my frequent trips to Los Angeles. Along with some of my interviews and work-related information, it also had some personal details like my address and phone number. I had one with me that I handed over to the Prince,” he wrote.

The Hera Pheri actor wrote that when Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-ruling monarch in 2015, Prince Charles was reportedly having dinner with him. “When the news leaked, the British tabloids whipped up a frenzy of headlines about H.R.H, throwing open the doors of his home to the Bollywood superstar while apparently ditching Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her big day,” he wrote.

He recalled, “There were speculations in the press that the heir to the crown was deliberately skipping the occasion to host the ‘spectacularly rich’ Gulshan Grover who had 400-plus films to his credit.”

It is evident from Gulshan’s anecdotes that him and Charles had a close friendship as once, while visiting Dumfries House, the Prince gave him a tour of the estate. When Charles asked what he thought about the estate, Gulshan said it would be perfect for a film shoot. “I blurted out that it would make for a picture-postcard setting for a film, especially the front steps. His cousin shook his head at me reprovingly, saying firmly, ‘No shooting here’. But the Prince smiles. ‘For you, Gulshan, it’s okay’,” he wrote.

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