Photo shoot of Maharaja Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla at his estate ‘The Manor’, Old Windsor, England in 1928

Maharaja Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla travelled to the UK, Europe and the United States often, and in 1922 bought a sprawling estate at Old Windsor, Berkshire, England. Nestling on the banks of the River Thames, the beautifully laid out gardens surrounded a 27-room Victorian Mansion.

He would spend each summer there, meeting the powers-that-be in London, just a few miles away, regarding matters of state. The Manor was host to royalty and aristocracy, film stars and writers, sportsmen and racehorse owners, jockeys and trainers, every year for well nigh three decades, except during the Second World War.

The Maharaja revelled in the English sports season, gave vent to his passion for horse racing and bought some fine racehorses. He went on to achieve his great ambition of winning the blue riband of the turf, the Epsom Derby in 1934.

In May 1928 a photo agency captured for posterity some splendid images that provided a glimpse into the life and times of Maharaja Vijaysinhji at Windsor.

It was an era when time moved slowly, when people travelled by ship and took three weeks to make the journey between India and England. The romantic 1920s and 1930s was when people could ride horses and horse power at the same time, live at a leisurely pace and enjoy to the fullest the bounties of nature.


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