When it comes to extravagance Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala (1891-1938) takes the cake along with few other royals. This Indian royal is not your everyday run-of-the-mill Queen of England variety, he was a one of a kind. He is famous for so many extravagant things, even Wikipedia can’t list them all (I’m exaggerating they can!) One such excess is the exquisite and grandiose great banquet service made for him by the leading gold and silversmiths of early 20th century England. This is in record books as the largest and most expensive banquet set ever made. The historic set is now on display at the Fabergé Museum in Germany. The Fabergé Museum bought the set from Christie’s auction last July for $3 million.
The banquet set consists of 1,500 pieces made in silver and gold. There are 40 different types of items to serve 200 people. Weighing 1320 pounds, the full set needed 12 large trunks to pack and transport. It was first used on 24 February 1922 for the state dinner held by the Maharaja in honor of the Prince of Wales future King Edward VIII, during his visit to India. It was transported back and forth between India and England several times because no one else in the world had a dinner set that can serve 200 people. There was one problem with this, after each banquet items started to disappear because guests wanted to take home a souvenir from the royal service.
Here are some of the lavish, outrageous and extravagant things Maharajah Bhupinder Singh known for. He was married 10 times and fathered 88 official children. He had Cartier made the “Patiala Necklace” for him with 3,000 diamonds with a center diamond weighing 428 karats from DeBeers. He was also the captain of the Indian cricket team. He was the first Indian to own an airplane. It was told he was driven around in a motorcade of 20 Rolls Royce cars. This sure is extravagant lifestyle for any royal.
Source: Fabergé Museum