Emperor of India
|Emperor of India|
|Star of India|
|King-Emperor George VI|
|Last monarch||George VI|
|Official residence||Buckingham Palace|
|Monarchy began||1 May 1876|
|Monarchy ended||26 January 1950|
|Current pretender(s)||Title abolished|
The term "Emperor of India" is also used to refer to Indian emperors such as Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty and Emperor Akbar of the Mughal Empire. For instance, Emperor Ashoka used the word 'Samrat' as his title, which means "Emperor" in Sanskrit and other Indian languages.
Bahadur Shah II
Though the Mughal dynasty ruled over most of the Indian subcontinent from the 16th century onwards, they simply used the title Badishah (Badishah or badshah means "Great King" or King of Kings, somewhat close to the title of emperor) without geographic designation. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rebel sepoys seized Delhi and proclaimed the Mughal Bahadur Shah II as Badishah-e-Hind, or Emperor of India. The British crushed the rebellion, captured Bahadur Shah and exiled him to Rangoon, Burma in 1858, whereupon the Mughal dynasty came to an end.
After the Mughal Emperor was deposed by the British East India Company, and after the company itself was dissolved, the title "Empress of India" (or Kaiser-i-Hind, a form coined by the orientalist G.W. Leitner in a deliberate attempt to dissociate British imperial rule from that of preceding dynasties) was taken by Queen Victoria from 1 May 1876, and proclaimed at the Delhi Durbar of 1877. The title was introduced nineteen years after the formal incorporation into the British Empire of Britain's possessions and protectorates on the Indian subcontinent, Ceylon and Burma (though Burma was made a separate colony in 1937). Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is usually credited with the title's creation.
When Victoria died, and her son Edward VII ascended the throne, his title became "Emperor of India". The title continued after India became independent on 15 August 1947 and was not formally abandoned until 22 June 1948 under George VI, although the British monarch continued to be the King of India until it became a republic in 1950.
When signing their name for Indian business, a British king-emperor or reigning queen-empress used the initials R I (Rex/Regina Imperator/Imperatrix) or the abbreviation Ind. Imp. (Indiae Imperator/Imperatrix) after their name (while the one reigning queen-empress, Victoria, used the initials R I, the three consorts of the married king-emperors simply used R).
British coins, and those of the Empire and Commonwealth dominions routinely included the abbreviated title Ind. Imp., although in India itself the coins said "Empress", and later "King Emperor". When in 1947 India became independent all coining dies had to be changed, which took up to a year and created some problems. Canadian coins, for example, were minted well into 1948 stamped "1947", the new year's issue indicated by a small maple leaf in one corner. In Great Britain itself the title appeared on coinage through 1948.
List of Emperors of India
|Portrait||Name||Birth||Death||Monarch from||Monarch until||Relationship with predecessor(s)||Spouse(s)|
|Bahadur Shah II||24 October 1775||7 November 1862||11 May 1857||14 September 1857||Assumed title during the War of Independence||Ashraf Mahal
|Victoria||24 May 1819||22 January 1901||1 May 1876
|22 January 1901||Given title after dissolution of the East India Company||unmarried during reign|
|Edward VII||9 November 1841||6 May 1910||22 January 1901||6 May 1910||Son of Victoria||Alexandra of Denmark|
|George V||3 June 1865||20 January 1936||6 May 1910||20 January 1936||Son of Edward VII||Mary of Teck|
|Edward VIII||23 June 1894||28 May 1972||20 January 1936||11 December 1936
|Son of George V||unmarried during reign|
|George VI||14 December 1895||6 February 1952||11 December 1936||15 August 1947||Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon|
- Imperial Crown of India
- List of Indian monarchs
- List of Mughal emperors
- List of British monarchs
- Mughal Empire
- Delhi Durbar
- President of India
- Governor-General of India
- Dominion of India
- Dominion of Pakistan
- "Aśoka – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Online encyclopædia. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- Ashoka by R. G. Bandarkar (Asian Educational Service: 2000)
- Harold E. Raugh (2004). The Victorians at War, 1815-1914: An Encyclopedia of British Military History. ABC-CLIO. p. 122.
- B.S. Cohn, "Representing Authority in Victorian India", in E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition (1983), 165-209, esp. 201-2.
- History of the Monarchy, Victoria
- Proclaimed Empress of India on 28 April 1876 in the United Kingdom
- Proclaimed Empress of India on 1 January 1877 in India