List of Chief Guests on Republic Day Celebrations from 1950 to 2020

India is an independent, sovereign and democratic country and had implemented its constitution on 26 January 1950. India is a democratic Republic that celebrates a grand ceremony on the 26th January every year to commemorate the day. This year on 26th January 2020, India celebrated its 71st Republic day. Every year, Indians look forward to an impressive display of military might and cultural wealth at the Republic Day parade held at the Rajpath, Delhi. 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. Republic Day is celebrated every year with great avidity in India.

On the occasion of republic day, Chief Guests from different countries are invited to attend the celebrations and grace the ceremony. The main purpose of inviting a foreign leader is to boost the bilateral relations and to show the diversity and prosperity of the Indian culture. The Chief Guest, who is invited, is usually the head of a state or government.

The choice of this Chief Guest, too, is the result of India’s diplomatic and economic stance and sets the tone for the year to come. International geopolitics and strategic alliances also play a very important role in the choice of Republic Day chief guest. Being invited by India to be present at one of the momentous events held is also an opportunity for the guest to strengthen bonds of economic and military cooperation. 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.

The process of selecting Republic Day chief guest begins six months ahead of the Republic Day celebration where in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) carefully scrutinizes India’s relations with the concerned country. Then MEA seeks the Prime Minister’s approval, followed by the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s clearance. After all this as the Chief Guest is shortlisted, India’s ambassadors in the concerned countries then try to ascertain the chief guest’s appointments and availability for the Republic Day.



YearGuest nameCountry
1950President SukarnoIndonesia
1951King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram ShahNepal
1952No Invitation
1953No Invitation
1954King Jigme Dorji WangchuckBhutan
1955Governor General Malik Ghulam MuhammadPakistan
1956Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. ButlerUnited Kingdom
Chief Justice Kotaro TanakaJapan
1957Minister of Defence Georgy ZhukovSoviet Union
1958Marshall Ye JianyingChina
1959Duke of Edinburgh Prince PhilipUnited Kingdom
1960Chairman Kliment VoroshilovSoviet Union
1961Queen Elizabeth IIUnited Kingdom
1962Prime Minister Viggo KampmannDenmark
1963King Norodom SihanoukCambodia
1964Chief of Defence Staff Lord Louis MountbattenUnited Kingdom
1965Food and Agriculture Minister Rana Abdul HamidPakistan
1966No invitation
1967King Mohammed Zahir ShahAfghanistan
1968Chairman Alexei KosyginSoviet Union
President Josip Broz TitoYugoslavia
1969Prime Minister Todor ZhivkovBulgaria
1970King of the Belgians BaudouinBelgium
1971President Julius NyerereTanzania
1972Prime Minister Seewoosagur RamgoolamMauritius
1973President Mobutu Sese SekoZaire
1974President Josip Broz TitoYugoslavia
Prime Minister Sirimavo 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 Jose Lopez PortilloMexico
1982King Juan Carlos ISpain
1983President Shehu ShagariNigeria
1984King Jigme Singye WangchuckBhutan
1985President Raúl AlfonsínArgentina
1986Prime Minister Andreas PapandreouGreece
1987President Alan GarciaPeru
1988President J. R. JayewardeneSri Lanka
1989General Secretary Nguyen Van LinhVietnam
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 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-SaudSaudi Arabia
2007President Vladimir PutinRussia
2008President Nicolas SarkozyFrance
2009President Nursultan NazarbayevKazakhstan
2010President Lee Myung BakSouth Korea
2011President Susilo Bambang YudhoyonoIndonesia
2012Prime Minister Yingluck ShinawatraThailand
2013King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WangchuckBhutan
2014Prime Minister Shinzo AbeJapan
2015President Barack ObamaUnited States
2016President François HollandeFrance
2017Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al NahyanUnited Arab Emirates
2018Sultan Hassanal BolkiahBrunei
Prime Minister Hun SenCambodia
President Joko WidodoIndonesia
Prime Minister Thongloun SisoulithLaos
Prime Minister Najib RazakMalaysia
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu KyiMyanmar
President Rodrigo Roa DutertePhilippines
Prime Minister Lee Hsien LoongSingapore
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ochaThailand
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân PhúcVietnam
2019President Cyril RamaphosaSouth Africa
2020President Jair BolsonaroBrazil