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Spain's Princess Letizia shows why she stole Carla Bruni's thunder

The gorgeous princess who stole the thunder from Carla Bruni in Madrid in April this year when French president Nicholas Sarkozy was on a state visit to Spain is now in the city. Princess Letizia, wife of Spain's crown prince, Felipe of Asturias, didn't have to work too hard to charm everybody when the couple formally inaugurated Instituto Cervantes, the Spanish cultural centre, on Hanuman Road, off Parliament Street.

At the inauguration, the princess didn't speak a word, but everybody was so busy visually soaking in the glamorous royal dressed in a white skirt, biege jacket and her trademark super high-heeled pumps, that nobody cared or noticed. It would have been nice to hear from the princess about her life as a TV journalist before she turned a royal -- CNN+ and TVE were the two channels where she had worked previously -- but given their status, protocol prevented such an interaction with the princess.

The Delhi institute, the 73rd chapter of the global organisation, Instituto Cervantes, was formally launched with a showcase of Pablo Picasso's 100 etchings titled Suite Vollard. It was opened to the public on Wednesday evening and will be on view till January 10.

The formal unveiling of the institute's plaque took place in the spacious auditorium where the prince and the princess arrived with the president of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations ( ICCR), Karan Singh, Spain's secretary of state for foreign affairs, Angel Lossada Torres- Quevedo, the country's ambassador in India, Ion de la Riva, and the global head of Instituto Cervantes, Carmen Caffarel.

" It's fortunate that the Instituto Cervantes is being inaugurated in New Delhi this year, for it has seen an intense exchange between the two countries at all levels," crown prince Felipe said in his address.

" At the international fair of contemporary art, ARCOMadrid, India was the guest nation and we had a big meeting between businessmen of the two countries in Mumbai," he added.

Caffarel announced that the institute would help facilitate trips by Indian students to Spain in case they chose to study there. " We've already granted 40 scholarships this year and are trying to reach the farthest corners of India through IGNOU," Caffarel said. She added that more than 500 students were studying Spanish in St Columba's School.

ICCR president Karan Singh called Instituto Cervantes " a window not just into Spain but the entire Latin America," where Spanish is the official language for many countries.

" The director of the institute in New Delhi, Oscar Pujol, is just the right man. He is immensely talented and it's quite a feat for him to have created a Catalan- Sanskrit dictionary," Singh said in praise of Pujol.

The royal couple left the venue after a brief informal meeting with the guests. But what they have left behind is a rich legacy of their country, the Pablo Picasso exhibition.

It's a must- visit for all those who love exploring the arts.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Nov 12, 2009
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