Nepalese man Sanu Gurung and his wife Anna were beside themselves when Queen Elizabeth’s equerry (an officer of the British royal household) asked if they “would like the opportunity to talk to Her Majesty”. The couple were attending the Royal Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh last Tuesday. Last month, they had become headlines in the local media when they received official invitation to the event from the Royal Household.
The Gurungs founded the Bring Back The Smile To Nepal charity after last year’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake flattened the Himalayan nation. The relatively new charity has already received wide recognition including from the British royal family and actor Joanna Lumley.
In an interview on the blog of the charity, Anna Gurung said she was initially “nervous” when she and her husband “were singled out for a chat with Her Majesty” – out of 8,000 guests at the sprawling palace ground. However, once the couple began chatting with the monarch, things turned out to be rather amusing as the longest reigning monarch chatted away about Nepal.
The three quickly became engaged in a hearty chat and became the attention of the Palace Press Office. The official website of the British royal family still has the the photo of Anna and Sanu Gurung, right on the most prominent place. (You can check out the British royal family’s website by clicking here.)
“She seemed really interested in our charity and in Nepal. She asked all about the projects we’ve undertaken, how we raised money, our background and about Nepal. We found we had lots in common, as she affectionately told us about her time in the country, and we spoke about the difficulties in reaching some of the remote communities in the rural areas of Nepal. Her Royal Highness is obviously very proud of Prince Harry’s charity work in Nepal, as she told us enthusiastically about his time there,” Anna said in the blog.
The couple is in the process of rebuilding an entire village in Gorkha district of Nepal. The target village, Archanibas, was completely destroyed by the mega earthquake last April.
“Nepal is a beautiful country”, says Anna, “the first thing everyone notices when they visit, is everyone’s amazing smile. We want to do whatever we can to help bring that back.”
Anna and Sanu Gurung met in Nepal when the former was visiting the country. According to the Bring Back The Smile To Nepal’s website, they married in 2000 and although wanted to raise their three ‘gorgeous children’ in Nepal, had to move to the UK amid the rising uncertainty in the aftermath of the massacre of the Nepalese royal family in 2001.