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Christmas Card 2/2
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Christmas Card 2/2

Christmas card to my father from the Maharajah of Jodhpur.
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Picture added on 28 May 2012 at 21:28
A very interesting keepsake, Sandy. The Maharajah is wearing RAF pilot's wings, but I haven't been able to find out if he 'earned' them or whether, presumably like his rank (he became an Air Vice-Marshal), they were a courtesy distinction. At any rate, he was mad about flying - as was his son, who succeeded him and died in a plane crash at the age of 28. His Highness Umaid Singh died aged 43 only a couple of years after the date of this card. He seems to have been an enlightened and progressive ruler. Even the construction of his fabulously huge and lavish palace was apparently conceived, at least partly, as a means of providing work for many of his subjects whose livelihood had been ruined by years of drought. It's now a hotel.
(With acknowledgements to Google.)
Added by Ian Hourston on 29 May 2012
Ian - copy and paste the following address into your browser search. It confirms the Maharajah's flying credentials in an article about the death of his son in an aircrash in the early 1950's: www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive 1952/1952%20-%200276.PDF

[Or just click here - Steven]
Added by David Dawson on 01 June 2012
Thank you David and Steven. The item doesn't of course throw any direct light on how the maharajah acquired RAF pilot's 'wings'.
(I tried to submit a comment like this a short while ago, but I don't think it got sent. If it did - sorry, and please discard one or other version.)
Added by Ian Hourston on 03 June 2012
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