PHOTOS: Visiting royal toddler enchants top Indian leaders

Prime Minister Modi and the royal infant exchange Namaste. (Supplied)

A visiting cuddly toddler with rosy cheeks has bowled over the powerful men and women who rule India.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj were caught on camera presenting gift hampers, toys, chocolates and even a football to the 20-month Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuk accompanying his parents - Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel and Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuk - on a four-day goodwill visit to India this month.

Modi presents the crown prince a FIFA U-17 World Cup football. (Supplied)

Modi presents the crown prince a FIFA U-17 World Cup football. (Supplied)



Rare as such moments are in international diplomacy, analysts say that photographs of India's high and mighty in a playful mood with the royal infant emphatically underline New Delhi's especially warm ties with the Buddhist kingdom tucked away in the Himalayas.

When the visiting royals called on Modi, he bent down and affectionately greeted the cute toddler with a namaste who instinctively reciprocated with a matching namaste, which in Sanskrit literally means “I bow to you”. A beaming premier presented the boy an official football from the FIFA U-17 World Cup and a chess set.

The toddler admires his chess set as his father and Modi discuss matters of state. (Supplied)

The toddler admires his chess set as his father and Modi discuss matters of state. (Supplied)

Dressed in a gho, the traditional male attire, the toddler was photographed admiring the newly acquired chess set while his father and Modi discussed grave matters of state. The baby stole the show as the Prime Minister’s Office and Press Information Bureau, the Indian Government’s publicity wing, released a series of heartwarming photos to the print and electronic media.

Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, who received the royals at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, was the first VVIP to be clean bowled by the toddler. She pulled his cheeks and blurted sweet nothings as if in a trance.

The First Lady, Savita Kovind, was besotted by the toddler who received a hamper roughly his size. (Supplied)

The First Lady, Savita Kovind, was besotted by the toddler who received a hamper roughly his size. (Supplied)

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the kid from Bhutan a full set of traditional Cheenapatna toys from Karnataka in south India which he evidently liked.

In Rashtrapati Bhawan, or the Presidential Palace, according to reports, First Lady Savita Kovind couln’t take her eyes off the royal infant and presented him a hamper roughly about his size.

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented traditional Indian toys to the kid. (Supplied)

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented traditional Indian toys to the kid. (Supplied)

Even as the toddler melted hearts and brought a smile on countless faces in India, former Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, now in his 80s, remarked: “The visit of their Majesties, the King and Queen of Bhutan, would have largely gone unnoticed, but for the enchantment provided by the 20-month-old Crown Prince Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck. He appeared confident and sure footed in his national dress, black socks and tiny black shoes”.

“He was not overawed by the PM. Not once did he threw a tantrum or hide behind his mother as most children of his age do. His sangfroid was amazing. Here we saw a future king in the making.”

Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, who received the royals from Bhutan at the airport, was the first VVIP to be clean bowled by the toddler. (Supplied)

Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, who received the royals from Bhutan at the airport, was the first VVIP to be clean bowled by the toddler. (Supplied)

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
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