martedì 2 febbraio 2016

Intriguing India - Part IV: The Queen's 1983 and 1997 State Visits

As we mentioned in our latest post in the Intriguing India series, the Queen has visited India only three times during the course of her reign. Her first historic visit came in 1961 and has already been discussed - today the focus will be on the subsequent visits, in 1983 and 1997 (for the other posts in the series, see here and here).

The 1983 State visit on the invitation of the Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, and was timed to coincide with the 7th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in New Delhi. The Queen remained in the country from 17 to 26 November and met President Zali Singh, as well as the Prime Minister:

During the visit, a special ceremony took place at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India in New Delhi, during which the Queen invested Mother Teresa of Calcutta as an honorary member of the Order of Merit:

The following images were taken at a State banquet in New Delhi in 18 November. The Queen is seen wearing Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik tiara and the sapphire and diamond earrings and necklace that were a wedding present from her parents:

At another banquet, part of the Brazilian aquamarine parure was worn:
The Queen in New Delhi, wearing the round Cambridge emerald brooch with pendant; she is seen below being assisted in removing her shoes for a visit to lay at wreath at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial in Delhi, a landmark that's sure to feature on the Duke and Duchess' itinerary.
The Queen visited also the Indian National Defence Academy in Pune (below, wearing the Russian sapphire and diamond cluster brooch). 
Below, the Queen, in a Frederick Fox hat and Hardy Amies dress, watches a display of traditional dancing in the village of Devara Yamzal, near Hyderabad:

Some more fancy millinery from the tour:
Among the unusual forms of transport used by the Queen, there's this 'Palki', a type of sedan chair, which she rode during the 1983 tour:
Fourteen years later, in 1997, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh paid their third visit (and almost certainly last, given how the couple are scaling back significantly on long-haul travel) to the country to mark the 50th anniversary of Indian Independence.
During a speech given at the State banquet in New Delhi on 13 October, the Queen's praised India's vital contribution to the Commonwealth, saying:
Like Britain, India has always been a country which is open to other cultures, and able to accept and assimilate them in a constructive way. This is one of the many reasons why India is such a vital and distinguished member of the Commonwealth.
The Queen inspecting an Indian Forces' honour guard at the Presidential Palace at the start of her visit:
During their visit, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar, where they were presented with a ceremonial sword and a model of the temple in painted wood and gold leaf:

Being presented with a pot from an Untouchable at St Francis Church in Kochi:

The Queen also toured a Bollywood film set:

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited again the Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi's cremation site in New Delhi:

I hope you enjoyed this recap of the Queen's visits to India. I'll see you very soon with a new post on more royal visits to India - including those of the Prince and Princess of Wales back in 1990s!

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