To celebrate the platinum jubilee of Maharaja Vijaysinhji’s brilliant Derby triumph, the erstwhile royal family of Rajpipla held functions on 6th and 7th June 2009 at Vijay Palace, Rajpipla.
Postmaster General, Vadodara Region, Arvind Kumar Joshi, released a Special Postal Cover to commemorate the occasion on 6th June. The cover depicts the first three horses at the finish and a modified crest of Rajpipla State in the form of a cancellation stamp (postmark), a light image of Maharaja Vijaysinhji with Windsor Lad, and an inset of the Maharaja leading his colt. The co-ordination for designing and issue of this special cover was done by philatelist Prashant Pandya.
A film of the 1934 Derby was screened by the royal family on 7th June. This classic film preserves the memorable event for posterity, showcasing the race in its entirety, the drama of the hot favourite Colombo being trounced, and Windsor Lad easily pipping Easton to the post. The royal family of Britain led by King George V and Queen Mary can be viewed along with an estimated half a million people at the Epsom Downs applauding Maharaja Vijaysinhji as he led in Windsor Lad after the victory, with the jubilant Charlie Smirke astride and the beaming trainer Marcus Marsh beside.
(Excerpt from ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ by Indra Vikram Singh, grandson of Maharaja Shri Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla).
A Maharaja’s Turf
Published in India by Sporting Links