List of all Chief Guests on Indian Republic Day Parades (1950–2021)

Republic day Parade celebration

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his plans to visit India over COVID-19 crisis in the UK. He was supposed to be the Chief Guest at the 2021 Republic Day. The UK Foreign Office released a statement that the decision to cancel the visit was taken in view of the COVID-19 pandemic which has escalated in the United Kingdom because of the new strain of the coronavirus.

Earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accepted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to be the Chief Guest at the 2021 Republic Day. If British PM Boris Johnson would not have cancelled his visit to India, he would have become the first PM of UK since John Major in 1993 and the sixth PM from the UK to be the Guest of Honour at the event. Also, the UK would have become the only country whose leaders have been Chief Guests at Republic Day on six occasions. 

India as an independent, sovereign and democratic country implemented its constitution on 26 January 1950. Since then, India being the Democratic Republic celebrates a grand ceremony every year to commemorate the Republic Day and a Foreign Leader is invited every year by the  Indian Government. 

The initial four Republic day parades were held at different places (Red Fort, Ramlila Grounds, Irwin Stadium, Kingsway) between 1950 to 1954. But the first celebration was held at Rajpath in 1955.

chief-guest-bolsonaro-2020

The Indonesian President Sukarno was the first Chief guest on the very first Republic Day parade of India. Representatives from the United Kingdom and France have been invited 5 times each.

How Chief Guest is chosen for India’s Republic Day?

The Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day parade is accorded country’s highest honour in protocol terms but do you know how the Republic Day Chief Guest is chosen?

Six months prior to Republic Day, the Indian Government sends the invitation to either the Head of State or the Government subjected to the kind of relationship India has with the concerned country. 

Before sending the invitation, the approval of the Indian Prime Minister is sought in addition to the clearance from the President of India. 

Let’s have a look on the list of all the Chief Guests at Republic day parade;

YearGuest NameCountry
1950President SukarnoIndonesia
1951King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah     Nepal
1952No invitation —
1953No invitation —
1954King Jigme Dorji WangchuckBhutan
1955Governor-General Malik Ghulam MuhammadPakistan
1956Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. Butler Chief Justice Kotaro Tanaka   United KingdomJapan
1957Minister of Defence Georgy Zhukov   Soviet Union
1958Marshall Ye Jianying  China
1959Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip   United Kingdom
1960President Kliment VoroshilovUSSR
1961Queen Elizabeth IIUnited Kingdom
1962Prime Minister Viggo Kampmann   Denmark
1963King Norodom SihanoukCambodia
1964Chief of Defence Staff Lord Louis Mountbatten   United Kingdom
1965Food and Agriculture Minister Rana Abdul HamidPakistan
1966No invitation No invitation
1967King Mohammed Zahir Shah   Afghanistan
1968Prime Minister Alexei KosyginUSSR
President Josip Broz TitoSFR Yugoslavia
1969Prime Minister of Bulgaria Todor ZhivkovBulgaria
1970King of the Belgians Baudouin   Belgium
1971President Julius NyerereTanzania
1972Prime Minister Seewoosagur RamgoolamMauritius
1973President Mobutu Sese SekoZaire
1974President Josip Broz TitoSFR Yugoslavia
Prime Minister Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias BandaranaikeSri Lanka
1975President Kenneth KaundaZambia
1976Prime Minister Jacques ChiracFrance
1977First Secretary Edward GierekPoland
1978President Patrick HilleryIreland
1979Prime Minister Malcolm FraserAustralia
1980President Valéry Giscard d’EstaingFrance
1981President José López PortilloMexico
1982King Juan Carlos ISpain
1983President Shehu ShagariNigeria
1984King Jigme Singye WangchuckBhutan
1985President Raúl AlfonsínArgentina
1986Prime Minister Andreas PapandreouGreece
1987President Alan GarcíaPeru
1988President Junius JayewardeneSri Lanka
1989General Secretary Nguyen Van LinhViet Nam
1990Prime Minister Anerood JugnauthMauritius
1991President Maumoon Abdul GayoomMaldives
1992President Mário SoaresPortugal
1993Prime Minister John MajorUnited Kingdom
1994Prime Minister Goh Chok TongSingapore
1995President Nelson MandelaSouth Africa
1996President Dr. Fernando Henrique CardosoBrazil
1997Prime Minister Basdeo PandayTrinidad and Tobago
1998President Jacques ChiracFrance
1999King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah DevNepal
2000President Olusegun ObasanjoNigeria
2001President Abdelaziz BouteflikaAlgeria
2002President Cassam UteemMauritius
2003President Mohammed KhatamiIran
2004President Luiz Inacio Lula da SilvaBrazil
2005King Jigme Singye WangchuckBhutan
2006King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud[Saudi Arabia
2007President Vladimir PutinRussia
2008President Nicolas SarkozyFrance
2009President Nursultan NazarbayevKazakhstan
2010President Lee Myung BakRepublic of Korea
2011President Susilo Bambang YudhoyonoIndonesia
2012Prime Minister Yingluck ShinawatraThailand
2013King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel WangchuckBhutan
2014Prime Minister Shinzo AbeJapan
2015President Barack ObamaUnited States
2016President François HollandeFrance
2017Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin ZayedUnited Arab Emirates
2018Sultan Hassanal BolkiahJoko WidodoThongloun SisoulithPrime Minister Hun SenNajib RazakPresident Htin KyawRodrigo Roa DuterteHalimah YacobPrayuth Chan-ochaNguyễn Xuân PhúcBruneiIndonesiaLaosCambodiaMalaysiaMyanmarPhilippinesSingaporeThailandVietnam
2019President Cyril Ramaphosa  South Africa
2020President Jair BolsonaroBrazil
2021Prime Minister Boris Johnson (cancelled his visit)United Kingdom

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