Gayatri Devi, Maharani of Jaipur

gayatri_devi.jpgGayatri Devi’s beauty was astonishing, praised by Clark Gable, Cecil Beaton and Vogue, but liner or lipstick had nothing to do with it. She had a maharani’s natural poise and restraint. From her grandmother, she had learned that emeralds looked better with pink saris rather than green.

From her mother, she knew not to wear diamond-drop earrings at cocktail parties. A simple strand of pearls, a sari in pastel chiffon and dainty silk slippers were all that was required.

The fact that she looked equally good in slacks, posing by one of the 27 tigers she personally eliminated, or perched, smoking, on an elephant, merely underlined the point. She was a princess, and a princess could make Jackie Kennedy appear almost a frump.

Click here to read the complete obituary in The Economist
Photo @ Rex Features