Pratap Singh died on 25th September, 1925 and the throne passed on to his nephew Hari Singh. The coronation ceremony, the 'Raj Tilak' was held in February 1926. It was a long elaborate affair. Starting on February 14 and ending on 24th. After the main function was held in Jammu, the processions moved to the Akhnoor where the final ceremony of power transfer was performed.
The world media was obviously interested in the obscenely lavish pageantry held in honor of "Mr. A".
"Jammu, Kashmir, India - New and rare photographs of the religious ceremonies within the palace gates and the dancing girls who took part in the coronation of the Maharaja of Kashmir have just been recieved. Reigning prices from all parts of the empire were present at the coronation of Sir Hari Singh, better known as the "Mr. A" of the sensational Robinson Case, in ceremonies which rivalled in splendor those of the Arabian Night. The celebration lasted over a week, preceded by mystic religious rites by the Hindu priests. The Prince's favourite dancing girls also took part in the coronation, dancing for the new Maharaja before and after the religious ceremonies. Gifts amounting to two million pounds sterling were received by the new Indian potentate." Dated: 19th April 1926.
Here are two rare photographs from the ceremony. A closer look at the dancing girls.
|The child dancer.|