(correcting designation in last para)

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New Delhi, Nov 8 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil returned here today, after a four-day visit to Bhutan for the coronation ceremony of the new monarch Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck.

The President, who was the chief guest at the ceremony, said she was overwhelmed by the welcome given to her by the King and the people of Bhutan.

She was very appreciative of the warm hospitality she received from the Bhutanese Royal Family and the people. She also conveyed her best wishes to the fourth King Jigme Singhye Wangchuck, who has abdicated in favour of his son, on his birthday which fell on November 1.

Earlier, at Paro Airport in Bhutan, breaking protocol as a special gesture to the President, the fourth King was present in seeing off Ms Patil. During her visit, the President had witnessed the sacred coronation ceremony, which was open only to the members of the Royal Family and top religious leaders of the country.

Overwhelmed by the warm hospitality, the President said the coronation ceremonies at Dzong were marked by solemnity and grace, while they were colourful and full of gaiety at other places.

Ms Patil attended two banquets given in her honour by the fourth and fifth Kings yesterday and today.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, her children Rahul and Priyanka with her husband Robert Wadhera, who had also come to attend the historic occasion as guests of the Royal Family had returned yesterday.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, who were part of the official delegation, also returned yesterday.


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