London’s Iraqi-run Café Diana to get royal wedding makeover

London’s Iraqi-run Café Diana to get royal wedding makeover
Courtesy photo
Updated 29 November 2017

London’s Iraqi-run Café Diana to get royal wedding makeover

London’s Iraqi-run Café Diana to get royal wedding makeover

LONDON: As fans of the British monarchy look forward to Prince Harry’s nuptials in May next year, café owner Abdul Basit is more excited than most.
The Iraq-born entrepreneur runs the bustling “Café Diana” near the royal residence Kensington Palace in London. Fondly named after Harry’s late mother, the royal café is stuffed with memorabilia of the “People’s Princess.”
“We are so happy for Harry,” Basit told Arab News. “We will have a big party for him at Café Diana, just as we did for his brother William’s wedding. We will lay down a red carpet and we will keep the music going until 3 a.m.”
On the day of Harry’s wedding to US television star Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle, Basit said his café would broadcast the royal occasion live on two huge TV screens. The café will also offer a champagne breakfast on the day and dish out complimentary wedding cake.
The restaurant owner said he would be adding more photos of Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle to the café’s memorabilia-lined walls in the coming months. Customers can also look forward to a special “Royal Wedding themed” menu, he said.
Princess Diana, who died 20 years ago in September, once lived just a stone’s throw from Basit’s cafe. “I was stuck for a name and then someone told me she lived just across the road in Kensington Palace,” he told Arab News earlier this year, “then I had the idea — ‘Cafe Diana’.”
Basit, who opened the cafe in 1989, says Diana would regularly pop in to say “hello” and order a cappuccino. On a couple of occasions, she even introduced him to her two boys, the young king-in-waiting William and Harry.
Basit said: “Prince Harry was always fond of our café and he is extremely polite. I know Diana would be delighted to hear his wedding news. She was a very good mother — they were the biggest happiness in her life. She always put them first.”
The café owner added: “I admire the princes; they represent a good energy for the royal family. People love them, they follow their mother’s legacy and she would be proud.”