From India in Style (1): Indian Royalty
The Delhi Durbar, the "Court of Delhi", where the King-Emperor announced the move of India's capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911. From our book IMPERIAL New Delhi.
India has been viewed with a lot of awe and amazement by the entire world for myriad reasons. The colours, the sights, the smells, the cuisine – presented in a million different forms – have enthralled connoisseurs from the time the first set of travelers set foot on this ancient land.
Everything about India, right from its spiritual mooring to its 5000 year old history has caught the imagination of people in unusual ways – from astonishment to appreciation, evoking surprise, shock, curiosity and wonderment, all at the same time.
But most of all, India has been considered the land of maharajahs, elephants and snake-charmers; all of which is absolutely true.
Indian Royalty, by the extent and value of treasures they have possessed, by the sheer show of their opulence, by the grandiose manner in which they have lived, have been the subject of interest not just of the common folk, but essentially of luxury brand makers and service providers.
Archives mention that Indian queens developed a fondness for western clothes and started ordering for their trousseau in Europe by the late Nineteenth century, an outcome of western education entering the royal households.
An inclination towards the western life – be it in clothes, other items of use or travelling to Europe, brought in integration with the international society for the royalty.
So it can be safely said that the foundation for style, haute living, grand hospitality, luxe brand affiliation and rich hotel tradition was laid early enough in those years of Imperialdom!