Before independence, India, as we know it, was not a single entity. The land was one, but on it were several princely states ruled by Maharajas up in the north and west and Nizams down in the south belonging to different dynasties. And often, royal marriages took place between these princely states.

More often than not, the main reason for these royal Indian weddings was to form political unions and strengthen state connections. These weddings also served as a means to bring about peace and security in the realm. In other circumstances, marriages took place to ensure inheritance and family succession.

The expansion of trade and commerce was another motivation for these royal Indian weddings, as royal families frequently used their ties to negotiate trade deals and form corporate alliances. Additionally, these unions served to strengthen relationships between various social and cultural groups as well as to honor the reputation and stature of the royal families concerned. In some cases, the reason behind these Indian weddings was also the good, old-fashioned love.

The Colorful Indian Weddings of Indian Royalty

The Many Indian Weddings of Maharaja of Patiala

When one’s talking anything about Maharajas, one cannot do it without talking about Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. Among several things that he was known for, his many weddings could be considered among the foremost things. Throughout his life, he had ten weddings!


Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala with his wives

Image courtesy: National Portrait Gallery, London

The ‘French’ Maharaja of Kapurthala and His Indian Weddings

Maharaja Sir Jagatjit Singh Sahib Bahadur, the last-ruling Maharaja of Kapurthala was famously known for being a Francophile and for incorporating French architectural influence while building his main palace, which was modeled on the Palace of Versailles. He too, like The Maharaja of Patiala married several times—six to be precise. One of these weddings was to the Spanish flamenco dancer and singer, Anita Delgado who changed her name to Rani Prem Kaur Sahiba, after the wedding.

Maharaja Jagajit Singh of Kapurthala with his wife in the United States

Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The Indian Wedding That Gave Us the ex-CM of Punjab

Did you know that the 15th Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh belongs to the lineage that gave the world of jewelry the iconic Patiala necklace?

Portraits of Maharaja Yadavindra Singh and Maharani Mehtab Kaur

Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Maharaja Yadavindra Singh of Patiala, the son of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, who commissioned the globally famed Patiala necklace, was the father of Amarinder Singh. His wife was Mehtab Kaur of Patiala, the daughter of Patiala State nobleman and Patiala Riyasat Prajya Mandal member Sardar Harchand Singh Jaijee (Shergill).

A young Amarinder Singh with his father, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh

Image courtesy: Twitter


Amarinder Singh with his mother, Maharani Mehtab Kaur of Patiala

Image courtesy: Bright Punjab Express

The Indian Wedding of the Chiffon Maharani and The Jaipur Sawai

Another famous royal Indian wedding was that of arguably one the most famous queens of Indian royalty, Maharani Gayatri Devi, and Sawai Man Singh II, the Maharaja of Jaipur from 1922 to 1947. Their marriage is said to be one resulting from love. When she was 12 years old, Sawai Man Singh II came to Calcutta to play polo and stayed with their family. This is how she first met him. On May 9, 1940, they got married.


Maharani Gayatri Devi and Maharaja Man Singh II

Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The Indian Wedding of Extravagant Maharaja and Maharani of Baroda

Maharani Sita Devi helping her husband, Maharaja Pratap Singh Gaekwad of Baroda, adjust the iconic Baroda pearl necklace that was commissioned by his grandfather, Maharaja Pratap Singh Gaekwad

Image courtesy: Pinterest

Another known royal Indian wedding was that of the colorful Maharani Sita Devi and the extravagant Maharaja Pratap Singh Rao Gaekwad of Baroda. The two met each other at the Madras horse races in 1943. The Maharaja was said to have been mesmerized by Sita Devi. Sita Devi was married to the Raja of Vuyyur at the time. The two got married after she divorced her first husband.

The Indian Wedding of the Contemporary Maratha Royals

Educated in England, fabulously wealthy, and having contemporary tastes, Maharajadhiraj Raj Rajeshwar Sawai Shri Sir Yeshwant Rao Holkar II and Maharani Shrimant Akhand Soubhagyavati Sanyogita Bai Sahib were a perfect match for one another. The two got married in 1924. However, their marriage lasted for 13 years, after the Maharani passed away in 1937 from complications after surgery.

Maharaja Yashwant Rao Holkar II with his wife, Maharani Sanyogita Bai

Image courtesy: AD Magazine

Image courtesy: Luxury Facts

Feature image:

King Siddhartha Tells Queen Trisala the Meaning of the Fourteen Dreams (left) and The Interpretation of Dreams (right): Folio from a Kalpasutra Manuscript

Courtesy: The Met Museum

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