Monday, March 1, 2010

Favorite Royal Images: Raja Raghubir of Bundi

HH Maharao Raja Raghubir Singh Sahib Bahadur of Bundi (1869-1927)

I love pictures and thought to start a series of posts on my favorite royal images, another of which is below in the post on King Edward III. However, for the first post in this series I had to go with the Raja of Bundi above. That has to be one of the greatest royal portraits ever -it really jumps out and grabs your attention!


  1. That IS quite a depiction - please do assemble royal/imperial photos of great value pictorially and/or historically.

    What about the Ottoman Sultans?
    You have been neglecting them, boo hoo!
    Also the lesser known but very able, enlightened Seljuk Sultans of Anatolia.

    In neighboring Persia, there were previous dynasties to the Qajars, such as the Sassanians [~200-628 AD] which exalted the concept of monarchy to some of its highest heights in the last several millenia.
    One might say that the Sun-King idea was nothing new under the sun!

    There are a number of amazing reliefs carved in stone preserved to this day [as a divine reminder to recent centuries of anti-monarchical revolutionaries and resultant republics--?] picturing Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian Supreme God of Light, investing various Sassanian Shahs with symbols of monarchy.

    A specially remarkable relief is the one at Taq-i-Bostan, in what is now the Kurdish area of northwest Iran. It depicts the Sassanian Shah, Khusrow II Parviz [591-628] being vested with a diadem of kingship by the same Ahura Mazda. Another favorite goddess, Anahita, offers her own diadem to the monarch as well.

    In some of these relief carvings, the Shah is shown with the halo of divinely-bestowed rulership.

    The ~1700's Zand dynasty of Shiraz in the south was considered to be better rulers by far than the Qajars. Then there were the Savafids in the 1500s. Under the rule of Shah Abbas the Great, Isfahan was regarded with poetic exaggeration as "Half the World" in its architectural and artistic magnificence. This is not hyperbole: the rare visitors from Europe and North America still are impressed by Isfahan's cultural wonders.

    I think such Eastern nations deserve much more credit than they usually receive from many Western monarchists for having pioneered this reverence for a divinely-instated monarch. The courts and civilizations presided over by these Shahs, Sultans, etc. - though over a millenium ago in some cases - dazzled with their grandeur.

    Of course one could trace the concept to far more ancient Near Eastern, Mesopotamian and Iranian civilizations for the inspiration that filtered down to produce this system.

    1. Actually, Ahura Mazda is Avestan for "Wise LORD". Zoroastrians are, like us, monotheists. Zoroaster is even considered a prophet in Amahdiyya Islam, and in some Christian groups, like the Christian Universal Life Teachings Church.

  2. Believe it or not I have recently noticed I've been neglecting the Near East. I try to span the world for monarchist topics but I know more items come to mind from those areas I am most familiar with. One thing I'll say about the Ottoman Sultans, they had possibly the best collection of titles of any monarch, 'Sultan, Padishah, Caliph of Islam, Grand Turk, Grand Lord, Sovereign of the Osman, Sultan of Sultans, Khan of Khans, Grand Sultan of Anatolia and Rumelia, Emperor of the three Cities of Constantinople, Edirne and Bursa, Lord of the two lands and the two seas, Caesar of the Roman Empire, Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe' etc, etc. It changed over time, titles coming and going but - wow!


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