The Duke of Gloucester visited a Crawley Hindu temple and community centre today (Wednesday October 14).
The Gurjar Hindu Union (GHU)’s royal visit took place on Ifield Avenue at 2:30pm.
The event was part of the five year anniversary celebrations since the opening of the temple and the Apple Tree Centre in 2010.
Speaking before the event, organiser and ambassador of GHU Ashwin Soni said: “We are so very honoured that HRH is coming, we all respect the royalty and the Queen so much.”
Mr Soni said there was a real excitement in the community and people would always remember the visit.
Mr Soni wrote to the Queen asking her to attend the event and she replied to his letter.
He said: “Out of the blue I got back a letter saying The Duke will attend.”
The royal visit coincided with the religious festival Navaratri (nine nights), a nine-day festival dedicated to the worship of the deity Durga and celebrating montherhood, which started on October 13.
He added: “This is a very historic event in the history of our organisation.
“We are really delighted and thanking the monarchy for respecting and appreciating what we do in Crawley.”
The Major of Crawley, Councillor Chris Cheshire, and Crawley MP Henry Smith were among those attending the event.
The GHU is also making a major oral history project, interviewing the elderly people who established the community in Crawley more than 40 years ago.
The temple and the Apple Tree Centre was built by the Gurjar Hindu Union, a local charitable organisation.
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