- This image comes from a book called 'The History of the Imperial Assemblage
at Delhi, held in 1877'. It was written by James Talboys Wheeler. He
was an enthusiastic admirer of India and of British rule in India.
- A durbar was a ceremony in which the subjects of a ruler paid their
respects to the ruler. In 1877 Queen Victoria was declared Empress of
India by the Prime Minister of the time, Benjamin Disraeli.
- At a durbar, subjects could pay their respects to the ruler or to
a representative of the ruler. In this image the Indian rulers are paying
their respects to the British Governor General of India. Queen Victoria
never actually visited India.
- Over 400 Indian princes came to this durbar and 15,000 soldiers took
part in displays and parades.
- The durbar must have made these princes very proud to be part of the
whole occasion. The size, wealth and power of the event probably also
showed them that resisting British rule was not worth it. The British
were immensely powerful and co-operating with them brought tremendous
advantages to the Indian princes and their families.
- The British continued to hold these events in India and in Britain.
The arrival of representatives from foreign countries who were part
of the empire was fascinating to British people. It was one factor that
kept British people interested in their empire.