10 May 2017

The Wives of Jagatjit Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Kapurthala

Born in the autumn of 1872, Sir Jagatjit Singh Bahadur became ruling Maharaja of the Princely State of Kapurthala in India in 1877, succeeding his father Kharak Singh Bahadur (1849-1877). In 1890 Jagatjit attained full ruling powers . Like most of his fellow Princes, Jagatjit reveled in pomp and ceremony. He was an avowed Fracophile who modelled his palaces on French châteaus and filled them with French furniture. In 1935 Jagatjit met with Benito Mussolini. He also attended a Nazi Parteitag in Nuremburg.

Jagatjit Singh Bahadur,
Maharaja of Kapurthala.
At the age of 13 Jagatjit had been married to Maharani Harbans Kaur, daughter of Mian Ranjit Singh Guleria of Poprola. Several years had since passed, and his wife still had not conceived, so questions were asked. Even Jagatjit’s portly girth was blamed for his inability to consummate his marriage. It seems that experts were consulted, and a ramp-like bed was constructed. This apparently solved the couple’s difficulties and in due course a son was born and named Paramjit Singh (1892-1955). The bed’s engineer received a life pension.

During his life Jagatjit Singh married 6 times. His 5th wife was a Spanish girl, Anita Delgado (1890-1962). In 1908 they married and had a son. Anita was never required to live with his other wives, and would accompany Jagatjit on his travels. They were separated in 1925. 

Jagatjit’s 6th wife was Eugenie Grosupova, an illegitimate daughter of a Czech Count and an actress. After the death’s of her grandmother and mother, Eugenie became profoundly disturbed. She was certain that they had both been poisoned, and lived in terror of being poisoned herself. 
As Jagatjit’s roving eye had alighted on another beautiful girl, Eugenie and Jagatjit were having difficulties in their marriage. One day, Eugenie caught a taxi to a stone tower, and committed suicide by jumping off it. From the marbled 5th storey Eugenie fell 3 storeys to the red-sandstoned, 2nd floor. Eugenie's body was found hanging over the railings. Jagatjit was shocked and upset when he heard of her death, and was said to have aged overnight. He died on June 19, 1949. 

Sources: World of RoyaltyC. Younger: Wicked Women of the Ray, HarperCollins, 2011.

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