Woman to woman: Pratibha Patil to visit Britain Oct 27-29June 29th, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS
By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, June 29 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil will visit Britain Oct 27-29 in a state visit showcasing the close ties between India and Britain, officials said.
“This is a visit that will reinforce the point that our relations are excellent,” said Indian High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee after the government and the royal family announced the visit.
The visit, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, “will further the close relations that exist between the United Kingdom and the Republic of India,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told the House of Commons.
President Patil, India’s first woman president, will stay at Windsor Castle, the Queen’s luxurious official residence situated some 35 km from London, the royal family announced.
Nearly 1,000 years old and spread over an area of five hectares, Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and is said to be the Queen’s favourite weekend retreat.
The visit will even out the score for official visits by Indian and British heads of state.
While Queen Elizabeth and her husband have visited India thrice - in 1961, 1983 and 1997, President Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan paid a visit to Britain in 1973 and R. Venkataraman followed it up in 1990.
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