Recently, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Princess Meghan blindsided the British royals by announcing that they are ‘stepping down’ from their role as the senior members of the British royal family and will work for financial independence.
As soon as the news broke out, it was all over the Internet. Some criticized the couple for their decision, blaming Meghan for “manipulating” Harry while some supported the couple for their decision.
There are a few who even believe that Meghan is following the footsteps of her late mother-in-law Princess Diana. However, Diana was the people’s princess and since she was an English-woman, she had the acceptance which Meghan failed to achieve in her short tenure as the Duchess of Sussex.
While Britain has had rebellious royals like Diana and Meghan, Indian royals are no less. Listed below are some strong-headed Indian royals who followed their heart and refused to comply with the royal standards and protocols.
1. Maharani Gayatri Devi
Maharani Gayatri Devi was considered as India’s Princess Diana. She was an elegant mix of beauty with brains. Smitten by the charm of Maharaja Sawai Mansingh II, she ended up as his third wife and lead life on her own terms. For a princess, she was highly opinionated and liberal. She was half the age of her husband however; this fact never bothered the couple.
She never followed the purdah tradition and made all efforts to curb it in other Rajasthani households. She worked extensively for the upliftment of women and even joined politics against the will of the royal family.
2. Maharani Sanyogita and Maharaja Prithviraj Chauhan
Maharani Sanyogita and Maharaja Prithviraj Chauhan had the most epic love story. Sanyogita was the daughter of Raja Jaichand, King of Kannauj and despite his disapproval of the groom; she eloped from her swayamvar with him.
To marry the love of his life, Prithviraj waged war with Kannauj and won it too. Jaychand later joined hands with Ghori to get Chauhan killed (honor killing).
3. Zubeidaa Begum and Maharaja Hanwat Singh
The royal family of Jodhpur was once the third wealthiest province in India and despite the long lines of princesses waiting to marry Hanwant Singh, he found love in a divorced Zubaida Begum. She was a divorced Muslim woman belonging to a showbiz family. She had a son from her previous marriage when she married Hanwant. Their marriage was looked on with grim disapproval by members of the royal family and their subjects.
She was the second wife of Hanwant Singh and while Zubaida was seen as the “other woman”, Hanwant’s love for her grew every day and they even agreed to move from the lavish Umaid Bhavan Palace to Mehrangarh Fort. The love story ended with the tragic death of the couple in an air crash.
Apart from those mentioned, history is filled with examples of liberal and modern royals who didn’t pay much heed to the royal titles and lived their lives on their own terms.
Be it royalty or a common man, his/her happiness should come first and not some royal protocol or societal obligations.
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