Above is the Imperial Crown of India made for and used by king George V at the 1903 Delhi Durbar where the British tried once again to convince they Indians they ruled India. Below is Shri Tukojirao Sahib Holkar, the Maharaja of Indore, a noted collector of cars, horses, women, swords, and all things suited for a king. He was a Maratha king, a scion of one of the great Maratha houses that ruled the rich state of Indore. His descendant Richard Holkar stills lives there and runs an amazing hotel in their old family castle/palace on the Narmada river. Never heard of Holkar, the Marathas or the Delhi Durbars? It's not too late to learn. It's amusing for me to watch as the royalty of the world, both old and new, so let's include the Vanderbilts, Bushes and Clintons in that list, try to ignore the rise of India and China. Were those red coats stitched in the UK or in China? Were those Arabian horses bred in the UK or in Pune? Will the royal couple be driven in an Indian or a German car? Because there is no truly British car company left anymore. But the ruins of Empire are not all that bad. London is a lovely city to live in, if you can afford it.
Something for us in the US to think about as we lose our hegemonic position in the world in the next few years: once the center of global power is officially in Delhi or Beijing, will we have any ceremony in DC that will attract the world's attention like this? China will become the leading global economy in either 2016 or 2020, so let's start thinking about something cool to get the Hindi and Chinese speaking world's attention once in a while. And let's not fly planes into the Petronas towers either. We're nicer than that.