History scripted 'when Indira Gandhi occupied Chequers' | world | Hindustan Times
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History scripted 'when Indira Gandhi occupied Chequers'

world Updated: May 03, 2009 16:11 IST

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History was created when Indira Gandhi occupied a room which Carol Thatcher, the daughter of the then British Premier Margaret Thatcher, used to stay in at Chequers, a retreat for the country's leaders.

In her memoirs, 'A Swim-On Part In The Goldfish Bowl', Carol has recalled Gandhi's visit to Britain when she was the Indian Prime Minister. "Such history was never far away. Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister, had slept in the four-poster I occasion -ally occupied," leading British newspaper the 'Daily Mail' quoted Carol as having written in her memoirs.

Indira GandhiGandhi was not alone. Other world leaders, including former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, also scripted history at Chequers, which Carol has dubbed "a boutique hotel, albeit with top-level security".

"One of the most history-changing lunches to take place in the dining room was for Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa in December 1984. Gorbachev, yet to become Soviet leader, ate sole in shrimp sauce, fillet of beef and oranges in caramel.

"My mother was impressed by Gorbachev, famously declaring: 'This is a man I can do business with'. At the time one doesn't say that it was history in the making, but I realised that this was something pretty special.

"Sometimes, when we had a full house of guests, I was persuaded to move to a room under the eaves called the Prison Room. It was so named because Lady Mary Grey, the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey, was held there in 1565 after she had been banished from court by Elizabeth I for marrying below her station," she wrote.