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Courts of the Subcontinent

The Prince of Wales held six receptions in Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, Delhi, Lahore and Agra where he formally met with Indian rulers. In the style of the traditions of a durbar the Prince adopted Indian courtly practices, largely based on the Mughal court (1526 –1857) and used in many parts of the subcontinent for formal meetings.

DM 2428: the Prince, enthroned beneath a portrait of the Queen, recieves the young Gaekwar, seated on his right. Signed, dated and inscribed.

The Prince of Wales Visit to India 1876: The Prince receiving the Gaekwar of Baroda in a Durbar Ceremony, 9 November 1875 ©

This familiarity with traditional court practices proved effective in building relationships between the rulers and the Prince of Wales, who by the end of the tour had met more than ninety Indian rulers. Many of the gifts that the Prince received were sumptuous objects used within the traditional Indian court. These included vessels and containers for offering rosewater and betel nut at the end of formal meetings.