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Making links with the Indian rulers

Photograph of Sayaji Rao III Gaekwar, Maharaja of Baroda, who stands facing front, head turned slightly right. He leans with his right arm on book on top of circular table, which also has a second, upright book with the Prince of Wales motif. He wears tur

Sayaji Rao III, Gaekwar of Baroda (1875-1938): Prince of Wales Tour of India 1875-6 ©

The Prince held receptions in many Indian cities, including Bombay and Calcutta, where he met and exchanged gifts with Indian rulers in the style of a durbar (court or audience). Prior to the British Raj these court traditions, including the presentation of gifts, had been adopted by the British East India Company to maintain good trading and political relationships.

The Prince met with more than 90 Indian rulers during his tour and presented them with rings, bracelets, commemorative medals, swords, sporting firearms, books and prints as gifts. In return, he received objects related to the Indian court along with artworks representative of local techniques.