New Delhi: Is it possible that a British royal makes a public appearance and the world doesn’t scrutinise her? Not quite, even if it’s Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. As Prince Charles and wife Camilla tour India, the wife of the king-in-waiting seems to be putting a confident foot forward. As images flow it was but natural to draw a parallel with the most famous of them all, Princess Diana. But does she make the cut?
In a scene reminiscent of the iconic Princess Diana Taj Mahal photo, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were pictured on day three of their India tour in front of a magnificent Hindu Temple complex.
And earlier in the day the couple became Slumdog royalty, where Charles was given an early birthday surprise.
The gesture came courtesy of pupils at a school in the Govindpuri slum in the south of the city, a labyrinth of filthy two and three-storey shacks with precious little water or sanitation.
There is no mistaking the comparison between Camilla’s attire, quite similar to the desi shalwar kameez and Diana’s similar outfit during her visits to India and Pakistan. The gesture came courtesy of pupils at a school in the Govindpuri slum in the south of the city, a labyrinth of filthy two and three-storey shacks with precious little water or sanitation.
One of the largest ‘jugghis’ in India, with more than 200,000 inhabitants, families with six or seven children cram into a single room.
Water-borne disease is rife and rabid mongrels defecate in the streets as children play.
In amongst the squalor, however, is the Katha school, a whitewashed beacon of hope for the slum’s thousands of children, many of whom would be forced into child labour without its help.
The head teacher, Geeta Dharmarajan, told the couple she began her project in 1990 by offering vocational training to the slum’s downtrodden women so they could earn more money and over-rule their husbands’ refusal to send their children to school. Former Labour Health Sectretary Patricia Hewitt had played a key role in BT funding the charity which runs the school.