9 Indian royal families, their heads and what they’re doing in 2023

Monarchy may have been abolished from the country in 1971. Even after nearly five decades, a few Indian royal families continue to live a life of legacy and luxury. Unfortunately, most of us are either keeping up with Prince Harry and his bride Meghan Markle or binge-watching dramas focused on Queen Elizabeth II of England. However, few of us are as familiar with Indian monarchy. But don't worry, we're here to assist. Here's a rundown of various royal families. Each has one person who is reportedly the "king" at the helm. However, because they no longer have kingdoms to manage, this is all they're doing now. 

1. The Mewar Dynasty

The Mewar Dynasty, probably India's most prolific royal family, has produced renowned monarchs such as Maharana Pratap. His descendants now reside in Udaipur. His Royal Highness Arvind Singh Mewar is the head of this dynasty. He is the House of Mewar's 76th custodian. Arvind Singh is a tremendously wealthy businessman in addition to being a titular king. He is the CEO of the HRH Group of properties, which operates over ten properties. 

He and his wife, Maharani Vijayaraj, live in the Udaipur city palace, a section of which is available to the public for viewing and exploration. Along with that, he has leased several properties that still belong to the royal family, such the Lake Palace and the Fateh Prakash Palace, to the Taj Group of Hotels. He is regarded as one of the wealthiest brains in the tourism and travel sector. He also runs the city's vintage automobile museum and looks after his father's crystal collection.

2. The Wadiyar Dynasty

The Kingdom of Mysore was controlled by the Wadiyar Dynasty in the past. They may trace their ancestors back to Lord Krishna's Yaduvanshi clan. Queen Alamelamma of Vijaynagar cursed the Wadiyar family for taking the crown in 1612. She claimed right before she leaped to her death that Mysore rulers would never have children. This curse appears to have remained in effect for the last 400 years, despite the fact that later members of the dynasty created a statue of the Queen and worshipped it on a regular basis. 

Yaduveer Krishnadutta Chamaraj Wadiyar, 27, is the current leader of the family. He was not, however, the immediate successor. Srikantadatta Wadiyar, his uncle, died childless in 2013 and left no heir. And hence, his wife, the Rajmata adopted Yaduveer as their son and turned him into king. With Mysore as the top silk producer in the company, the family’s brand, Royal Silk of Mysore started by Srikantadatta has remained a major success. The new king, however, holds a degree in English Literature and economics. He tied the knot to the Princess of Dungarpur, Trishika Kumari Singh, in 2016. 

3. The Royal Family of Jaipur

Members of the royal family of Jaipur have slowly but surely now attained celebrity status. His Highness Bhawani Singh was the last titular head of Jaipur. However, due to not having any sons, in his old age, Bhawani Singh adopted his daughter, Diya Kumari’s son, Padmanabh Singh. In 2011, Padmanabh became the Maharaja of Jaipur. He is a national-level polo player and is working to bring more awareness to the sport today.

Not only has the royal family given out the Rambagh Palace to Taj Hotels to run, the young king himself partnered with AirBnB recently. Under this new company, he has set up a suite at the Jaipur City Palace on the travel website where travellers may come, stay, and experience the royal lifestyle.  All the proceeds from this would go to the Princess Diya Kumari foundation. Moreover, the young King is an avid traveller and has appeared on magazine covers, across the world.

4. The Royal Family of Alsisar

Another royal dynasty from Rajasthan is the Alsisar family, who once ruled over the kingdom of Khetri. The family now possesses opulent havelis in both Jaipur and Ranthambore. HH Abhimanyu Singh is the present ruler. Abhimanyu Singh is recognised for co-sponsoring the yearly EDM event, Magnetic Fields, in addition to maintaining various hotels on their grounds. As a result, Singh has earned the title "Party Prince of India" in popular culture.

5. The Royal Family of Jodhpur

Jodhpur was once governed by the Rathore dynasty. It is home to the Mehrangarh Fort and the Umaid Bhawan Palace, which are both among the world's largest forts and private houses. Maharaja Gaj Singh now resides at the Umaid Bhawan Palace with his wife, two children, and their spouses.

A portion of the Palace is available to tourists, while the remainder is administered by the Taj Group of Hotels, which works in collaboration with the family. Maharaja Gaj Singh not only served in the Rajya Sabha, but he was also the Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago a few years ago.

6. The Gaekwads of Baroda

Since the early 18th century, the Gaekwads, who originated in Pune, have maintained control in Baroda (now Vadodara). Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, 52, is the current leader of the royal family of Baroda. He inherited property worth over Rs 20,000 crores when he got to the throne. The 2,000 acres of premium real estate, 600 acres of land, and the 187-room Laxmi Vilas Palace are all included. As if that wasn't enough, Samarjitsinh also received many paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, as well as numerous valuables like as gold, silver, and royal jewels. He also oversees 17 temple trusts in Gujarat and Banaras. In addition, he built an own 10-hole golf course in the palace. 

Samarjitsinh is a top-tier cricketer who has represented his state in the Ranji Trophy. He dabbled in politics but has been inactive since 2017. One little-known detail about the Gaekwads of Baroda is that they are the maiden family of Jaipur's famous Maharani Gayatri Devi.

7. Bourbons of India

Did you know that an Indian royal dynasty claims to be the heirs to the now-defunct monarchy of the Kingdom of France? Meet the Indian Bourbons, who live in Bhopal. Balthazar Napoleon IV de Bourbon, a lawyer with three children, is at the helm. This family claims to be a true descendant of the House of Bourbon, descending from Jean Philippe de Bourbon, an exiled French aristocrat who served in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. In his book, Prince Michael of Greece and Denmark claims that Jean de Bourbon was a nephew of Henry IV, the first Bourbon French monarch. 

8. The House of Bhonsales

If you reside in Maharashtra, you are well aware with Shivaji Maharaj and the Chhatrapatis. However, few people are aware that the great Swarajya King's descendants have now been dispersed among many districts in the state, including Kolhapur, Satara, Nagpur, Mudhol, Savantwadi, and Tanjore. Several significant family heads are dispersed across these areas. Satara's Udayanraje is claimed to be the 13th Chhatrapati title bearer. He is a well-known politician and a member of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). He recently reported assets totaling Rs 170 crore, which included five automobiles and numerous pieces of jewellery. 

9. Nawab of Pataudi

A list of royals would be incomplete without include Bollywood's very own Pataudi clan. Back in the day, the Nawabs governed the kingdom of Pataudi, with Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi serving as the final titular ruler. His Royal Highness, in addition to being a Nawab, was a former captain of the Indian Cricket Team. He married actress Sharmila Tagore and had three children with her. Saif Ali Khan, a Bollywood actor, is now the Nawab of Pataudi. Saif Ali Khan also owns the Pataudi Palace, which is valued at Rs 800 crore. In addition, according to Forbes, Saif earned Rs 66 crore in the previous year. 

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