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Royalty. The term elicits warm, fuzzy nostalgia for all things regal and extravagant. There is something truly fascinating about royals that prompts both amusement and curiosity. Perhaps it’s their beguiling lives that were so utopian and unattainable, or the fact that poring over fairytale-like images from their fanciful lives makes one forget the drudgery and monotony of everyday life. Whatever the reason, royals were around long before movie stars, and can rightly be called the very first celebrities in the world, ever.
In India, maharajas and maharanis lived lives of luxury that one can only catch glimpses of nowadays in coffee table books. They were the ultimate connoisseurs of luxury and fine living, and brands like Louis Vuitton and Cartier were thriving in India only thanks to the Indian royals. Luxury was truly bespoke, and puts today’s haute couture consumers to shame. The French chiffon saree, for instance, which has become a trademark of maharanis in India, was originally created in the looms of Lyon, and was worn here with gorgeous pearls and jewels to complement it. Royals are consumers of luxury goods on a whole different level, because luxury living permeates every fabric of their lives.
Some of our very own Indian royals had a lot of money and eccentric demands to go with it as well. For instance, Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore, ordered a customised Rolls Royce – recently auctioned off for US$400,000 – to shield his retinue servants from the harsh Indian sun. Mir Usman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad, used the “Jacob Diamond”, the fifth largest diamond in the world, as a paper weight. These are but a few fascinating stories of the lives of our Indian royals from the past. Today, most royals, whether Indian or international, live more humble and realistic lives, and actually put their wealth and genetic jackpot to good use. This month we take a look at some of the most stylish royals around the world. -- SuneelaRead More