Rajmata of Jaipur, Gayatri Devi, is high up in the Harpers and Queen Magazine’s compiled list of 100 most beautiful women of the past century. Her inclusion is no surprise. The Vogue called her as one of the most beautiful woman, while a famous celebrity photographer had included her in his list of 10 world beauties in the 60s.
Rajmata Gayatri Devi was the last of the Queens of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Gayatri Devi was the daughter of Maharaja Jitendra Narayan and Haharani Indirea Devi of the “Koch” dynasty of Coch Behar, She was born on the 23rd May 1919. After schooling in India she finished her education in Switzerland and London. At the age of 19 she fell in love with Man Singh, the heir to the Jaipur throne. Their marriage was initially opposed by her parents, as Man Singh already had two wives, the daughters of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. However, her parents gave in to her determination, and she was married to Man Singh in 1939. The Jaipur Royal family lived in lavish style and was visited by presidents, movie stars and other Royalty. Gayatri Devi was listed by Vogue as one of the world’s most beautiful women and is still the favorite of society columnists and the world’s photographers. The Rajmata pioneered the education of girls in Jaipur. In 1962 she entered politics in her state and won the largest ever electoral victory, for which she still holds the Guiness record. She won the seat again in 1967 and 1971 for the Swatantra Party, running against the ruling Congress Party. In 1971 the Privy Purse and all royal privileges were abolished in India. Gayatri Devi was accused of breaking tax laws and served 5 months in Tihar Jail which she bore with great dignity. She retired from politics after that experience, and published her autobiography “A Princess Remembers” in 1976. She was also the focus of a film called “Memoirs of a Hindu Princess”, directed by Francois Levie. The Rajmata leant elephant riding at a young age and is passionate about the welfare of Indian elephants. She is a patron of elephant family charity.