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Delhi Durbars



  Apr 18, 2024

Delhi Durbars



Three Delhi Durbars were held in 1877, 1903, and 1911. These grand events were ceremonies held in Delhi, India, to mark the coronation of the British monarchs as Emperors or Empresses of India. Each Durbar had specific reasons and historical contexts:

1877 – Proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India:

The first Durbar, held on January 1, 1877, was to formally proclaim Queen Victoria as the Empress of India. This event was orchestrated by the British government to consolidate their empire and reinforce their sovereignty over India. It was also an opportunity to display the pomp and power of the British Empire to the Indian princes and the public.

1903 – Coronation of King Edward VII:

The second Durbar was held on January 1, 1903, to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Emperor and Empress of India. Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, organized this Durbar, which was larger and more magnificent than the first. It served to demonstrate the splendor and majesty of the British monarchy and to strengthen the ties between the British crown and the Indian princes.

1911 – Coronation of King George V:

The third and final Durbar was held on December 12, 1911, to celebrate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary as Emperor and Empress of India. This Durbar was historically significant because it was the only one attended by the reigning monarch himself. During this Durbar, King George V announced the transfer of the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi, a major political move aimed at addressing the administrative needs of the empire and placating the growing unrest in Bengal, which was then a center of revolutionary activity.

Each of these Durbars was not only a celebration of monarchy but also a political tool used by the British to assert their dominance and manage relations with the princely states and the broader Indian population. They were grand displays intended to impress upon the Indian populace the power and glory of the British Empire.


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