India was a country of kings and queens for a very long time.
It existed as a country ruled by monarchs and dynasties.
In fact, even under the British Raj, these existed as provinces.
Ever wondered, after our Independence in 1947, where did all of these royals go?
Where are these lavish palaces, their owners, inhabitants, and the wealth now?
What happened to the legacy of these kings and queens and the royals that used to represent the country once?
Today, we’ll look at the many royal families that still continue to exist and live as an extension of the legacy that their ancestors left behind.
From the royal families of Rajasthan to the Pataudi family, we’ll look at some of the royal-est families of the country.
1. The Wadiyar Dynasty
The Wadiyar dynasty was the dynasty that ruled the kingdom of Mysore for almost 500 years from 1399 to 1950 with a brief break in the 1700s. The dynasty was founded by Yaduraya Wadiyar who came to be known as the Maharaja of Mysore.
Currently, the dynasty is ruled by Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar.
The Wadiyar dynasty was cursed as well in the 1600s.
The royals were cursed that they would have no heirs in their entire lineage by queen Alamelamma of Vijayanagar in 1612.
Thus, years later, Srikanta Datta’s wife, the then queen, adopted Yaduveer, her cousin’s son. This followed as Srikanta Datta passed away childless. He is English literature and economics graduate. It is also believed that he owns a wealth of 10,000 crores.
At present, Yaduveer owns the famous silk brand, the Royal Silk of Mysore.
2. The Mewar Dynasty
The Mewar dynasty, also known as the royals of Udaipur is headed by Arvind Singh Mewar. Currently, he is the 76th custodian of the house of Mewar. They own the HRH group of hotels India’s largest and the only chain of heritage palace hotels.
Following this, even his son Lakshyaraj Singh took up the Jagmandir island palace. He has renovated it into one of the most luxurious and expensive wedding destinations all across the world.
The heritage of kings like Maharana Pratap is being safeguarded and preserved by the Mewar family right now in Udaipur.
Moreover, along with the HRH group of hotels, the royal family also has let out palaces on the lease. Palaces like the Lake palace, the Fateh Prakash Palace are with the Taj Group of hotels for managing. These now essentially operate as tourist abodes for people looking for a royal getaway in India.
3. The Pataudi Clan
We all know about the Pataudi family, courtesy of Saif Ali Khan.
Saif Ali Khan’s father Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was the last head of the kingdom. Saif did not inherit the palace but had to buy back from the Neemrana Group of hotels where his father worked on lease for about 17 years.
Now, the palace was refurbished and is now used as a home of vacation for Khan’s extended family. It continues to stay as a place of royalty for the family.
4. The Royal Family of Jaipur
Bhawani Singh was the last head of Jaipur. However, he passed away without having a son. Thus, his daughter Disha Kumari’s son, Padmanabh Singh was declared as the heir.
He became the Maharaja of Jaipur in 2011. Singh is also a national-level Polo player and is working towards creating awareness around the sport.
This royal family has been one of the crowd’s favorite and with social media, they have achieved celebrity status like never before.
Taj hotels manage the Rambagh palace and are open for tourists who would like to stay and visit. It is also quite popular for staycations in the city.
Also, the young King has partnered with Airbnb recently to give a luxury travel experience for tourists who wish to do so.
5. The Royals of Jodhpur
Rajasthan truly is a luxury estate with a lot of royal families still settled in the state.
Another one on this list is the Rathore family of Jodhpur. The family owns the Mehrangarh fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace.
The Umaid Bhawan palace is where currently Maharaja Gaj Singh lives with his wife, kids, and extended families.
This palace is also open for tourists and for most parts is managed by the Taj Group of hotels in partnership with the family.
Maharaja Gaj Singh is a former Rajya Sabha member. He also served as the Indian High commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago some years back.
6. The Royal Family of Arcot
This royal family belongs down south and is spearheaded by Nawabzaade Mohammad Asif Ali, the son of Nawabzada Mohammed Abdul Ali, the prince of Arcot in Tamil Nadu.
Muhammad Asif Ali is a philanthropist and a businessman.
He has a successful software business but has also very interested in social and cultural events. Following this regular such events are hosted in the Amir Mahal in Chennai.
They also work with a lot of countries and also different brands and bands all across the world who are called in to perform at the palace. This initiative was taken in order to promote the art and culture of the world, as per Ali.
An international food festival is also organized every year. Moreover, Nawab Ali is also very interested in music and owns a music studio.
7. The Bourbons of India
So far, we have seen a list of families who owned and ruled families in the Indian subcontinent. But here’s someone who claims to be the descendants of the kingdom of France.
Yes, the Bourbons of India have their lineage traced back to the Kings of France during the Mughal era.
Currently, residing in Bhopal, the family is headed by Balthazar Napoleon IV de Bourbon, a lawyer by profession.
They are believed to be legitimate descendants of Jean Phillipp de Bourbon. He was an exiled French Noble who came to India and served under Akbar in his Court. Jean is believed to be the first nephew of Bourbon French King, Henry IV.
But, these claims stand unproven, however, a possibility of this happening would make this the first French lineage in India.
8. The Royals from Rajkot
This royal family that inhabits the 100-room Ranjit Vilas palace in Rajkot is led by Yuvraj Mandhatasinh Jadeja.
Most Royals in the country have developed or renovated their palaces into hotels, but this family has invested in changing it into hydropower plants and biofuel development projects.
There are also plans to move towards maintaining one of these palaces into a museum. The family also owns a chain of hotels in Rajkot and across the state.
💡 Mandhatasinh joined BJP in 2009.
Out from the riches, here’s something you might relate to if you were born in a middle-class Indian household.
We still have semblances of the royal families that exist in the country. And we will have to acknowledge that even after adopting the democratic system, they continue to stay.
We see them using their excessive wealth for many factors, and hospitality becomes one of the most important aspects.
It could only be expected that with the following generations we will have more informed and progressive heirs. Those who would use their wealth sustainably. We are currently witnessing a positive change.
Let us know in the comments below about a royal family that we have missed or Royal families that you know who do not live a king-size life now!
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