United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and UK First Lady Akshata Murty arrive at Palam Airforce Airport for the G20 Summit, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)
WHEN top world leaders gather for a power summit, it’s not only their countries and policies that make the headlines but also their better halves. The Delhi summit of the G20 grouping kicking off in the Indian capital on Saturday (9) was no exception.
While quite a few leaders arrived in India for the mega event accompanied by their wives, it was Akshata Murty, the Indian-born spouse of British prime minister Rishi Sunak who stood out, even before disembarking from the plane at the New Delhi airport where she was found adjusting her politician husband’s tie.
The 43-year-old businesswoman, who is the daughter of Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys and a billionaire businessman, and Sudha Murty, a writer, educator, and philanthropist, caught the eyes with her fusion attire at the time of arrival in her country of birth.
Her outfit spoke about her Indian roots with a traditional floor-length skirt with a crisp white-plated shirt. The traditional skirt with floral patterns was cinched at the waist while the shirt with folded sleeves gave the British first lady a semi-traditional approach for the mega occasion. She also left her hair straight.
Murty has been one of most admired public figures in the UK and pipped a number of notable figures to claim the top spot as one of Britain’s best-dressed people for 2023. She was included in a list created by Tatler magazine which also featured a number of top names.
The British first lady was also seen visiting the British Council, which promotes cultural and education ties, with Sunak where they met schoolchildren and officials. Murty, who was wearing a colourful dress on this occasion, also impressed the British officials by playing football barefoot.
In the evening, the first couple were seen going out to dinner arm in arm after a reception with Indian business leaders did not happen.
Murty will participate in the G20 spousal programme over the weekend, including a visit to millet fields besides a 45-minute tour of the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, Politico reported.
She is also expected to visit the British Council once again on Saturday (9) to meet young aspiring female fashion designers, it added. Murty herself ran a fashion brand once.
The Indian media has already given her significant space in their coverage since her arrival in New Delhi. The Indian Express, for example, praised her style as “a fusion mix of Indian and Western fashion sensibilities”.
Murty could be even a bigger darling to the media this summit as two other high-profile spouses, Jill Biden from the US and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau from Canada, are absent owing to varying reasons.