Print of 'Oriental and Colonial guests' at a reception at Warwick Castle


This image, originally printed in the Illustrated London News, shows a reception at Warwick Castle to mark the coronation of Edward VII in August 1902. In the foreground is Baba Khem Singh Bedi, a prominent political and Sikh spiritual leader of the Punjab region during the British Raj (1858–1947). He was knighted in 1893.

Indian nobility and princes travelled regularly between India and Britain. They became part of the social circles of the British upper classes, invited to parties, shoots, horse racing, polo and cricket.

Queen Victoria received them at the Royal Court and especially appointed an Aide-de-Camp who made the arrangements for their introduction to the Queen, meetings and public events.

Many Indian princes and rulers were seen to live a life of glamorous luxury, but this perception is misleading. Many were involved in state affairs, attending conferences in their role as diplomats and statesmen. During World War One, many supplied their armies, seeing action on the Western Front in Northern France and Belgium, Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia and East Africa. In World War Two, they were deployed in Burma, the Middle East, East Africa and Italy.

Full title:
'Oriental and colonial guests at a historic English home' in The Illustrated London News
9 August 1902, London
The Illustrated London News
Image / Periodical
R M Paxton
© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans.
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