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The Royal Tradition in India is one of boundless opulence and luxury. In order to understand Indian royalty, it is important to understand its history.


Pre-1500 AD Centuries before the British brought colonialism and public governance to India, she was a collection of princely states with the erstwhile Maharajas and Nawabs ruling over a population of scholars, warriors, traders and workers. The Varna system segmented the population on the basis of occupation and the administration of the kingdom and the keys to its opulence remained with the rulers of these states. The population looked to their rulers for direction, and the word of the royalty was law. The royal families were thus the centers of power in pre-colonized India.

1500-1800 AD The 200 years after the sea route to India was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama were a highly productive time in history for the princely states courtesy the bountiful production of highly valuable commodities like spices, dyes and opium and the blooming sea trade. The prevailing circumstances made the rulers of these princely states extravagantly rich and opulent. The world saw and recognized our prosperity, and this brought to our shores the most precious gems, fabrics and crafts from across the globe in gifts from traders and colonial powers. In fact, not until the British colonized India in the mid-1700s did the power, influence and riches of the royal families wane.

1800-1950 AD The royal families of India resisted the charms of the British but were gradually spoiled by the colonizers, who rapidly found them multiple ways to splurge their money. Polo games and designer tea parties became a constant fixture. International luxury brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Rolls Royce and Christofle laid out their designer red carpets for the Indian royals and wined, dined and seduced them to part with their booty on shopping trips and summer vacations abroad. The royals took a break from the rigors of administration and power and set out to enjoy themselves while the British took to running the nation.

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