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14.07.2005 General News

Asantehene Misses His Major Royal Appointment

By The Evening Standard (London)


A rare visit from an African King to The Open has had to be called off at the last minute, it emerged today.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the King of Ghana and head of the Asante people, had expressed an interest in watching The Open when he picked up an honorary degree at Glasgow University in 2001 with Prince Charles.

But Open officials said he would now not be able to make the trip because he was engaged in important talks linked to last week's G8 summit in Scotland. The most senior UK political figure to visit The Open will be Sports Minister Richard Caborn, who is a keen amateur golfer.

He will link up with Britain's International Olympic Committee member Craig Reedie in St Andrews in a reunion of the key figures who helped London win the vote for the 2012 Olympics in Singapore last week. Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell has strong links with golf as well since her son Matthew is at the elite David Leadbetter School in Florida and has played in Open qualifying tournaments in 2003 and 2004, although he did not take part in qualifying this year.

Jowell is not expected to visit St Andrews because the London MP has been heavily involved in dealing with the aftermath of last week's terrorist attacks on the capital.