NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Will Prince Charles or Pratibha Patil open the Games?

Will Prince Charles or Pratibha Patil open the Games?

Last updated on: September 27, 2010 20:24 IST

President Pratibha Patil, not the Prince of Wales, will officially declare the Commonwealth Games open in Delhi on Sunday.

This is the first time the royal family has been denied the traditional honour, claims the Daily Mail.

- Commonwealth Games 2010

The tabloid quoted officials of the India's Department of Information as saying they got the news of the�President Patil opening the Games from the Organising Committee, which is believed to have raised questions about the role of Prince Charles during his trip to Delhi next week.

However, Clarence House, the office of Prince Charles, insisted that the Prince will fullfil the duties, originally intended for Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen asked the Prince to attend the opening ceremony in her place because of her hectic schedule.

It will be the first time in 44 years since the Games were held in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1966, that the Queen will not attend any part of the event. And it was expected that Charles would read out a message on behalf of the Queen.

But an Indian source told the tabloid: "Although there has not been an official announcement, we have decided the President will open the Games. If the Queen was here it would be different. But she's not."

A spokeswoman for Clarence House said: "The Queen has asked the Prince to represent her in Delhi and carry out the same duties she would have performed if she were there. He will officially declare the Games open."

The Queen's Baton Relay has acted as the curtain-raiser to every Games since Cardiff in 1958. It involves the Baton being sent off by the Queen, then carried through each Commonwealth nation until it is passed back to the Monarch as her message to the athletes is ready out at the opening.