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Indian scribe's son, royal girlfriend split up

The much reported relationship between an Indian journalist's son and a member of the royal family has ended, according to a daily.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2006 11:39 IST

The much reported relationship between an Indian journalist's son and a member of the royal family has ended, according to the Daily Mail.

Aatish Taseer, son of columnist Tavleen Singh, was in a relationship described as 'intimate' for three years with Lady Gabriella Windsor, 31st in line to the throne. Gabriella is the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Aatish, 26, and Gabriella, 25, reported parted ways in London last week, mainly because Aatish wanted to return to India for good while Gabriella refused to relocate to India - particularly after the adverse experience Jemima Goldsmith had in Pakistan after marrying cricket legend Imran Khan.

According to the Daily Mail, Jemima's younger brother, Ben Goldsmith, is a friend of Gabriella. The paper quoted one mutual friend as saying: "I should think Ella knows pretty well all the details of how hard Jemima found it out there, coping with the heat and the flies and fleeing to London in the summer to stay afloat. Ella's bound to have been influenced by that."

Both Aatish and Gabriella have similar careers - journalists who want to write books. Aatish has worked in Time magazine's London bureau while Gabriella has contributed features to magazines.

The report said Gabriella's family did not object to the prospect of her marrying a practising Indian Sikh whose father-estranged from his son for most of his life-was a Pakistani Muslim.

Princess Michael is said to have positively adored Aatish for his wit and charm and the fact that he was 'so good-looking'. She gave her seal of approval when she accompanied her daughter on a trip to India in 2004 and met Aatish's mother and other relatives.

Later that year, in November, she stayed with his family in Delhi and Mumbai for Diwali.

According to the paper, had Aatish intended to make his life in London, they would probably still be together. But the longer he lived here, the more he felt the pull of his roots.

"Aatish wanted to return home to India - he is an only son and he feels an obligation," a family friend told the paper. "The pull was very great and troubled him enormously, but he has always been a man who makes up his mind and then sticks to it."

The question was: would Gabriella go with him? The answer was "No".

A close friend of the Michaels told Daily Mail: "They had reached a point that affects so many couples when difficult decisions have to be made. If Ella had committed to him on the basis of living in India, it would have meant switching to a lifestyle, which she knew she could not sustain forever - and when she does marry, she wants it to be forever.

"This is a dreadfully sad story of two nice people who love each other but simply cannot be together any longer. It is a story of two different worlds. It's especially sad they met so young - they're still young.

"Had they met five or six years later when they were rather more mature, things might have been different. Ella is mournful, but she's not saying much. You may be surprised to know that her mother is also sad it hasn't come off, though most people probably wouldn't believe that because it's not the way most people think of her."

The paper said this week Aatish and his mother Tavleen Singh had flown from Delhi to Alibag near Mumbai, where the family has a house. She is reported to have bluntly told him to "put the past behind him and get on with his life".

First Published: Oct 29, 2006 11:21 IST