In a neat diplomatic compromise, Prince Charles, representing Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth, and President Pratibha Patil did the honours at the inaugural ceremony, amid thunderous cheers from the capacity 60,000 crowd.
'I have much pleasure in declaring the 19th Commonwealth Games open', the Prince said reading out a message from the British monarch.
This was followed by the address of President Patil, who concluded by saying ' the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi are now open. Let the Games begin', signalling the formal commencement of the sporting extravaganza.
The inaugural ceremony made india proud