Sure Prince William, Prince Harry, and Princess Diana were absolute icons to take fashion and lifestyle inspiration from, but us desis have a few royals of our own to look up to as well. From Gayatri Devi to The Maharaja and The Maharani of Indore, Yashwant Rao Holkar II, and Sanyogitabai Holkar of Indore, Indian royals lived an incredible life.
In fact, Yashwant Rao Holkar II, and Sanyogitabai Holkar of Indore were one of the most stylish and glamorous royal duos to have existed.
The two studied together in England, while The Maharaja completed his education from the Cheam School, Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, The Maharani was privately educated. The duo got married in 1924 and travelled the world extensively. Their expenditures were not limited to Europe; they were even photographed on the set of the Hollywood movie ‘The Plainsman’ with Gary Cooper and Cecil B. DeMille and with actress Gail Patrick on their US trip. Not just that, The Holkars had the most impeccable taste in fashion as well.
Such was the glamour of the couple’s union, that when they went on their Honeymoon in France, famous visual artist Man Ray photographed them together. Furthermore, a double portrait of the Maharaja and Maharani was painted by French painter, sculptor, engraver, fashion illustrator and interior decorator Bernard Boutet de Monvel in 1929 and 1934.
Yashwant Rao Holkar II’s rich experiences included collecting exquisite arts and marvellous cars. The Maharaja also had a keen interest in design, so much so, he commissioned architect Eckart Muthesius from Germany to design the Manik Bagh (Jewel Garden) palace in Indore.
Sanyogita Devi of Indore was quite a style and fashion icon herself. She was dressed by the likes of Vionnet, Schiaparelli and Lanvin for many international events and shined among the other gems that she rubbed shoulders with! Clearly, if the term ‘power couple’ existed back then, they would be deemed it. So, yes the British royalty may have made quite the impression globally, but here’s an instance of regality that also deserves to be cemented in time.
If anyone is looking to make a biopic or period drama, then the story of the incredible and fabulous lives of the Holkars could be it.