Yet, the coronation is only symbolic as the royal family does not hold any power to run the state or collect taxes. In an interview with, Pramoda Devi explained: “I don’t think of myself as a Maharani… It was only during Dussehra celebrations when we had to perform certain rituals as per the custom, that we wore all the royal finery. Other than that, both my late husband and I, are just normal people.”

The kingdom

India once had over 500 independent princely states, where the princes enjoyed a life of affluence and power. After gaining independence in 1947, most of these princely kingdoms were absorbed into the Indian state. Following this, aristocrats were stripped of their honours, privileges and revenue by the government.

And since then, several royal families—including the Wadiyars—have been involved in legal battles over their property and assets.

Last year, Pramoda Devi Wadiyar accused all successive governments since 1976 of “troubling” the family. In the initial treaty signed in 1950 between the Wadiyars and the Indian government, the latter had apparently agreed to allow the property of the Mysore royal family stay with its members. Over the year, however, the government has taken control of several of these properties, which has been challenged by the Wadiyars in court.

“The palace issue is in court, it has been more than 38 years now…. once the Supreme Court had passed an order directing the government to hand over possession of the portion of the palace taken over by the state government for maintenance and management. Instead of complying with the order, the government proposed to take over the palace property through the special legislation, which we have challenged,” Pramoda Devi said last year.

And this year, after Yaduveer was announced as the heir to the throne, another nephew of Srikantadatta, Kanthraj Urs cried foul over the appointment. He then filed a case seeking a division of the family’s property.

The new king, thus, has inherited more than just the title and assets of Mysore’s erstwhile kingdom.

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