Guess what is common between Britain's Prince Charles, Maldives
President Mohamed Nasheed and Prince Albert of Monaco? Well,
nothing much yet. But they are set to be among a handful of
foreign leaders who will be gracing the gala inaugural ceremony of
the Commonwealth Games here Oct 3.
Prince Charles has confirmed his
presence at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games at
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the first time New Delhi will be hosting
the 53-nation sports spectacular.
He will represent Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who said she could
not come due a heavy workload around that time. This is the first
time in over 40 years the queen won't be attending the multi-sport
Compared to a bevy of world leaders who trooped to Beijing for the
2008 Olympics, the Oct 3-14 Games that will showcase India's
growing economic muscle and its emerging power ambitions, has not
triggered much enthusiasm.
There won't be more than a handful of foreign leaders for the
inaugural ceremony, sources close to the government told IANS. "As
of now, besides Prince Charles, we are expecting Maldives
President Mohamed Nasheed and Prince Albert of Monaco," a source
Nasheed, the 43-year-old former political prisoner, dislodged
Asia's longest-serving leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the 2008
elections, the first free polls held in the Indian Ocean island
nation after decades.
Prince Albert of Monaco, a Mediterranean principality better known
as the playground of the rich and famous, is expected to come with
his South African fiance Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic
swimmer, said sources.
The soon-to-be couple - they have announced their engagement but
are to marry in July 2011 - is set to add a sprinkle of regal
glamour to the opening ceremony.
Prince Albert, who is himself an Olympic bobsledder, acceded to
Monaco's throne in 2005 after his father, Prince Rainier III's
The prince, whose mother was the iconic Hollywood star Grace
Kelly, has participated in five Winter Olympics as a member of the
Monegasque bobsleigh team.