Bollywood actress and former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, has received the second highest French civilian award "Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters" for her contribution to cinema and promoting Indo-French cooperation in Mumbai.
Francois Richier, ambassador of France to India, conferred this special award to the poised and beautiful actress on Thursday.
Aishwarya was overwhelmed to be the recipient of this prestigious award and added that the honour was postponed twice due to unfavourable circumstances.
In 2009, she could not receive the award due to her father's ill health, while in 2011; it was put off due to the Mumbai bomb blasts.
"I must begin by sincerely thanking the French government for honouring me with this award Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, the second highest civilian award for my humble contribution to the world of cinema over the years. To be conferred with this distinction is truly overwhelming and I thank you so much for your patience in according and conferring me with this honour.
"Unfortunately, situations and circumstances had it delayed for so many years, but I truly thank you in all humility for making this a reality, make this honour come true," she said.
Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan (her father-in-law) said that it was a matter of great pride for the family to see Aishwarya accomplish herself in every field she is associated with.
Bachchan (Big B) had himself received France's highest civilian award, the Legion d'Honneur in 2007.
"We are very proud parents and in-laws to have Aishwarya with us in the family and every time she has accomplished herself in all the various fields that she has been associated with. It is a moment of great pride for us and indeed, the entire family," he said.
Aaishwarya Rai Bachchan made her Bollywood debut with bid screen director Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Iruvar (1997) and after that there was no looking back for her with a series of blockbuster action thriller Dhoom 2 (2006), romantic drama Guru (2007) and classic like Jodhaa Akbar (2008).
She married fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 and had their first child in November last year. (ANI)