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HRH Prince of Wales reading out HM Queen Elizabeth II's Message
VVIPs congregate at JNS to witness gala Opening Ceremony

NEW DELHI: Heads of state, royalty, and the ‘who’s who’ of the sport world joined thousands of commoners at the dazzling inaugural Ceremony of the biggest-ever Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.

Heading the galaxy of foreign dignitaries was Hon’ble President of Maldives Mohammed Nasheed. Adding a royal touch to the Games was the presence of HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwal and Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco.

Leading the Indian VVIP list was the Hon’ble President Smt. Pratibha Patil, accompanied by her husband Devisingh Shekhawat. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur were also present well in advance of the beginning of the Opening Ceremony. Chairmanof the National Advisory Council Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, her son and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were also present to take part.

Also seen in the VIP enclosure was former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, who received a rousing applause as his face was displayed on the giant screens. Chief Minister of Delhi Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, OC CWG Delhi 2010 Chairman, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, MP, were also present.

International Olympic Association President Mr. Jacques and the President of the Commonwealth Games Fedration Mr. Mike Fennel were also present. New Zealand Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand too made it to the gala Opening Ceremony. Many VIPs and ministers were also seen enthusiastically cheering as one spectacular event after the other unfolded during the Opening Ceremony.