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Pratibha Patil

UK Queen invites Pratibha Patil, first woman non-royal ...

Pratibha Patil 15%

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London - Pratibha Patil will be the first woman non-royal head of state to be hosted by Queen Elizabeth II in her 57-year rule when the Indian President will visit the UK in October at the invitation of the British monarch.

Ms. Patil will be only the fourth female head of state to be staying with the Queen at her invitation -- all other 94 have been men.

The other three female heads of state were all royal stock -- Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in 1972, Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1974 and 2000, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1982.

Although the Queen have hosted many woman heads of state for receptions – some of them non-royal – they have come on invitations from British prime ministers.

During her three-day visit commencing on October 27, Ms. Patil will stay at the Windsor Castle, the Queen's luxurious official residence and her favourite palace situated 35 km from London.

Ms. Patil will also have discussions with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and senior members of his cabinet, sources said.

While Queen Elizabeth along with her husband visited India thrice - in 1961, 1983 and 1997; from India, former Presidents S Radhakrishnan and R Venkataraman visited Britain in 1973 and 1990 respectively.

President Patil, accompanied by her husband Devisingh Ravisingh Shekhawat, paid an official visit to Spain in April this year, the first ever visit to that country by an Indian head of state.

During the meeting with the Queen, Ms. Patil will invite her to visit New Delhi next year to inaugura. e the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the sources said.

The Games are scheduled to be held in the Indian capital between October 3 and October 14, 2010.


Original source: THE HINDU

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