In an attempt to overawe and dazzle the local population, the British attempted to emulate their Moghul predecessors by holding ornate, pompous ceremonies known as Durbars. These were held in all manner of sizes and states, but there were three particularly impressive Durbars all held in Delhi. The first marked the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India in 1877. The second was Edward VIII's Coronation Durbar in 1903, presided over by Lord Curzon. The third Durbar was George V's Coronation Durbar in 1911. George V actually attended this Durbar in person and used it to announce the moving of the capital of British India from Calcutta to New Delhi. These Durbars were all used as massive propaganda events designed to form a direct link between the British Emperors and the Moghul Emperors before them.

1877 Durbar 1903 Durbar
1911 Durbar

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by Stephen Luscombe