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Delhi Games gets a royal touch

Guess what is common between Britain's Prince Charles, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and Prince Albert of Monaco? They are set to be among a handful of foreign leaders who will be gracing the gala inaugural ceremony of the Commonwealth Games to be held here on October 3.

other Updated: Sep 06, 2010 01:20 IST

Guess what is common between Britain's Prince Charles, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and Prince Albert of Monaco? They are set to be among a handful of foreign leaders who will be gracing the gala inaugural ceremony of the Commonwealth Games to be held here on October 3.

Prince Charles has confirmed his presence at the opening ceremony at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. He will represent Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who said she could not come due a heavy workload around that time. This is the first time in over 40 years the Queen won't be attending the multi-sport event.

Compared to a bevy of world leaders who trooped to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, the Games have not triggered much enthusiasm.

There won't be more than a handful of foreign leaders for the inaugural ceremony, sources close to the government said.

"As of now, besides Prince Charles, we are expecting Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and Prince Albert of Monaco," a source said.

Nasheed, the 43-year-old former political prisoner, dislodged Asia's longest-serving leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the 2008 elections, the first free polls held in the Indian Ocean island nation after decades.

Prince Albert of Monaco, a Mediterranean principality better known as the playground of the rich and famous, is expected to come with his South African fiance Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer, said sources.

The soon-to-be couple — they have announced their engagement but are to marry in July 2011 — is set to add a sprinkle of regal glamour to the ceremony.

Prince Albert, himself an Olympic bobsledder, acceded to Monaco's throne in 2005 after his father, Prince Rainier III's death.

The prince, whose mother was the iconic Hollywood star Grace Kelly, has participated in as many as five Winter Olympics as a member of the Monegasque bobsleigh team.

Aus hockey player Attard to miss CWG
Melbourne: Key defender Teneal Attard will not be a part of Australia's women's hockey squad after suffering a knee injury in the team's loss to the Netherlands at the World Cup in Argentina.

The news is particularly devastating for Attard, as it is her third injury, having only returned to the squad 12 months ago from a separate injury on her left knee, Hockey Australia said on its website.

Coach Frank Murray said Attard still has a chance to be part of the 2012 London Olympics squad and captain Madonna Blyth may go back in defence to cover the loss of Attard.

"When she gets back into Perth she will get it operated on and hopefully in the next 12 months, or even sooner, get back on track and is still a chance for the London Olympics," Murray said.