France honours Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai

France honours Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai

The 37-year-old star, who is pregnant with her first child, will be made a knight of the order of arts and letters at a ceremony in New Delhi.

The award, on the eve of France's national day, was "a recognition of her contribution to the world of cinema and to the development of Franco-Indian co-operation in the film industry", the embassy said.

Rai Bachchan, who won the Miss World title in 1994, has starred in more than 40 Hindi-language films and a number of English-language films, including the Steve Martin remake of the "Pink Panther" classics.

She is married to leading actor and producer Abhishek Bachchan, 35, whose father Amitabh, is one of Bollywood's biggest stars.

France's Ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont will present the honour, with many of Rai Bachchan's family expected to be present.

Amitabh Bachchan was given France's highest civilian award, the Legion of Honour, in 2007.

In 2003, Rai Bachchan became the first Indian actress to be part of the jury at the Cannes film festival.

She was at Cannes this year promoting her upcoming film "Heroine", the shooting of which has since been postponed because of her pregnancy.