By Kalash Khurana Last Updated:
When we hear the word Maharaja, the image that comes to our minds is of a muscular man with a big moustache standing in an alert posture with a sword in his hand. However, his Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh, unofficially known as the 'King of Jaipur', is the suave king, who has put the edge back on royalty. Fondly called as 'Pacho', Padmanabh belongs to the royal family of Jaipur, and being a dapper king, he never fails to leave us swooning over him.
Sawai Padmanabh Singh, the young 'Maharaja' of Jaipur, is undoubtedly the most handsome kings of all time. He is an accomplished polo player, and his penchant for fashion has made him the face of several magazines' covers. Apart from that, the young royal is a well-educated personality, who has received a cosmopolitan education since his childhood. There is no denying the fact that Sawai Padmanabh Singh lives his royal life in an elegant manner.
Sawai Padmanabh Singh's mother is Princess Diya Kumari, who is a politician and a member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. On the other hand, his father is Narendra Singh, who is a commoner. Diya was her parents' only child, so her son, Padmanabh had become king after his grandfather's death. However, Diya and Narendra had announced their separation in December 2018 after 21 years of marriage.
The young royal had attended the best international schools and had taken the benefit of cosmopolitan education. At the young age of 4, he had taken admission in a boarding school, Mayo College in Ajmer, and had led a normal life. The kids at his school were unaware of his royal background, and he was treated like a common student there. Later, he had gone to the Millfield School in England for his further studies. He also did a course in liberal arts at the New York University, and still loves to explore this field. Reportedly, he had also stayed in Rome in an apartment along the Via Gulia and had studied the history of arts at the University of Museology and Arts.
Padmanabh Singh is the 303rd descendant of the royal family of Jaipur, that lives in the City Palace, which was founded in 1727. At the age of four, he was adopted by his maternal grandparents, Maharaja Bhawani Singh and Maharani Padmini Devi, and had got the first-hand experience of a commoner as a student at the Mayo College.
In an interview with The Week, Padmanabh Singh had talked about his boarding school days and had revealed the conditions, in which he used to spend his days. He had added that nobody had any privileges at his school, so he had to lead a normal life. He had mentioned that due to all this, now whenever he travels the world, he's not fancy about anything. Sharing that he sleeps on the floor in his friends’ homes, travels by trains and eats at local restaurants. He had said:
“My boarding school shaped me the way I am. It was a tough life with strict discipline and no luxuries. We had a dormitory of ten, with just one slow-moving fan in the room in peak summers. Then we used to have Army camps in July at places full of mosquitoes, and I would spend my birthday there. I was a chubby little kid with my fancy shirts signed by Ronaldo. Nobody at the school has any privileges, the family backgrounds do not matter and then you get teased because you are so-and-so. However, the friends that I made at Mayo would last forever.”
The then-21-year-old suave king had come into the public eye in November 2017, when he had escorted Hollywood actress, Reese Witherspoon’s daughter, Ava Phillippe, to the Bal des Débutantes in Paris. Pictures and videos of a tuxedo-clad dapper Indian dancing with Phillippe to the music from the film, La La Land had gone viral all over the internet. And ever since then, Singh has been leading the headlines, courtesy of his prowess at polo and his unique personal style. Today, he has a massive fan following on social media, and people adore him.
In an interview with Grazia India, Maharaja Padmanabh Singh had talked about his love for social media and parties. He had shared that he considers social media a boon and uses it to connect with his friends. He also mentioned that his family encourages him to socialise and shared that he enjoys meeting interesting people. Talking about the same, he had said:
"I consider social media a boon, but I am convinced that it needs to be used responsibly. Also, a balance needs to be maintained. I use social media to stay in contact with my friends, and to find out what’s happening in the world. As for the parties, my family encourages socialising because, traditionally, our houses have always been open to friends and friends of friends. I enjoy meeting interesting people from around the world, and connect with them. The best part of forging global relations: Some of my guests have fallen in love with India and have gone so far as to move here to start businesses. It has been lucrative for Jaipur’s economy, and the country at large."
Affectionately called 'Pacho', Padmanabh Singh is a pro polo player. He has played on the Indian national team and has also shared the field with the British royals, Prince William and Prince Harry. Polo is played in his family for generations, and thus the sport spirit is in his genes. It is worth mentioning that Pacho was the youngest winner of the Indian Open Polo Cup and the youngest ever member of a World Cup polo team. Moreover, Sawai Padmanabh Singh had got his name etched in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2018 for his 'prowess on the polo field'.
In the same interview, Pacho had talked about his love for Polo and had shared how it helps him develop great bonds. He had revealed that Prince Charles of England is his Godfather as the latter had shared a strong friendship with his grandfather. He had added:
"Polo is part of a family tradition. It is a difficult sport and demands immense concentration, discipline and training. But, it also gives me the opportunity to play at different venues across the world. It allows me to engage with different people. The matches I’ve played with Prince William and Prince Harry have been friendly. Our families share a great relationship. In fact, Prince Charles is my Godfather. He and my grandfather, whom he met on his first visit to India way back in 1975, share a strong friendship that has developed through a shared passion for polo and architectural restoration."
India is a secular democratic country, and only the government has the authority to take all the decisions. So, Padmanabh Singh's maharaja title is not officially accepted by the law as royal privileges had stopped being recognized in India from the year, 1971. However, as per the tradition, Padmanabh had taken the ceremonial title after the death of his grandfather, Sawai Man Singh Bahadur, back in 2011. Interestingly, Sawai Man Singh Bahadur was called the last Maharaja of Jaipur because he had ascended to the throne soon before India had abolished the inherited rights of such titles.
From opening a restaurant to engaging in the promotion of hotels, which have been converted from family palaces, Maharaja has undertaken a number of entrepreneurial activities over the years. In the same interview, Padmanabh spilled the beans on how does he manage it all. When asked what does being a Maharaja meant to him, the young royal had said:
"It fills me up with pride to be part of a family with a storied legacy. It is an absolute honour to be a spokesperson for my family, too. I’m always curious about a new adventure. I want to know more about the world. Times are definitely changing, and it is my duty to use my privileges in a responsible way. I’m always dabbling in something new. I am committed to promoting the Sujan Rajmahal Palace, and other palaces which have been converted into hotels. I consider it important to look for new ways to promote my country and Jaipur. My parents have always spurred me on to come up with original ideas. They’ve also encouraged me to transform them into reality."
Sawai Padmanabh Singh's love for fashion is known to everyone. From his casual outings to royal events, the handsome hunk knows how to make heads turn with his style and poise. He was introduced to the fashion world when he had walked the runway for Dolce & Gabbana's Spring/Summer collection, and since then, there was no looking back for him. Now, the young royal wears the best of the best designer clothes, and his fashion statements never fail to impress us.
Maharaja Padmanabh Singh is considered as one of the most elegant men in India, and he has also walked the runway for a few popular fashion brands. In the same interview, when he was asked about the time when his love for fashion was born, Pacho had said:
"I belong to a family that has always taught me to appreciate beauty. I grew up flanked by two elegant and stylish men: My grandfather and father. They were always impeccably dressed. It was an honour to walk in the Dolce & Gabbana show in Milan. It’s always nice to do something that takes me out of my comfort zone. While I have always appreciated the style and cut of made-to-measure outfits stitched by the tailors in Jaipur, I also like to shop for clothes that are more casual and relaxed. I do enjoy wearing jeans in my downtime."
His Highness, Padmanabh Singh prefers to travel to unknown places on the earth. However, while he is in Jaipur, he spends his time with his family at the City Palace and stays at the Sujan Rajmahal Palace, which was formerly a royal guesthouse and has recently been renovated. Padmanabh has his lavish apartment in the royal palace called Ram Niwas, where his grandfather used to stay earlier. His private apartment includes a lush suite, a dressing room, a dining room and kitchen, a private lawn, and a heated pool.
Maharaja Padmanabh Singh is a millenial king, who rules the internet as well as millions of hearts with his humble nature and dashing personality. His love for fashion, making friends, meeting interesting people and love for travelling makes him one of the most dapper kings of all time.