King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
'A daughter of the Empire': Beryl White In India 1901-03

Delhi Durbar, 1903

Durbar group before the FortDurbar group before the FortAbout half the scrap album is devoted to the 1903 Delhi Durbar, a grand ceremony organised by Lord Curzon, then Viceroy of India (1898-1905).

It celebrated the newly crowned King Edward VII who was declared Emperor of India on New Year’s Day, 1903.

Beryl attended the spectacular and elaborate festival with her parents as part of the Sikkim contingent.

The Durbar was intended to impress the outside world with British power and influence in India, and to reinforce Britain’s role as a unifying presence in India.

'Native chief retainers' Review'Native chief retainers' ReviewThe programme of events ran over 10 days. It began with the grand opening procession on 29th December, where the Viceroy, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, other British VIPs and Indian Princes paraded through the streets of Delhi on elephants.

The Durbar included sports, music and competitions and a review of 34,000 troops. An investiture, a state ball, the biggest display of Indian arts and crafts ever assembled and a very popular review of a delegation of retainers from some of the states were further highlights of the event.

The event was entitled the 'Native chief’s retainers review' and attracted considerable press interest in both India and Britain.

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