One aspect of India's independence that is often overlooked is the role of India's princely states; the Maharajas. During the Raj, these states had been semi-autonomous and not actually part of the British Empire. They did however rule with the permission of the British Government and were really puppet sovereign figures. However, when India got its independence after the Second World War these state's became a problem that had to be resolved for the new Indian state.
John Zubrzycki, author of The House of Jaipur: The Inside Story of India's Most Glamorous Royal Family, is an expert on what happened to these royal families. He joins the podcast today to explain the structure of these royal states, their relationships with each other and how they were brought into the republic of India sometimes using force. In particular, he tells the story of the Royal House of Jaipur and Maharaja Man Singh II and his wife Maharani Gayatri Devi who was India’s mid-century golden couple rubbing shoulders with the Windsor's and the Kennedy's. This is a story of the end of empire, political fights, wealth, fashion and celebrity.