This incredibly stylish royal was so enchanted by Salvatore Ferragamo shoes that she splurged on over 100 pairs. Let alone velvet, her dazzling collection included several pairs that were studded with rubies, emeralds and even diamonds.

Via Instagram / @_thejuggernaut. Via Instagram / @vintagemoviestars


Once a queen, always a queen. This statement holds true for Maharani Indira Devi of Cooch Behar, a city in the Indian state of West Bengal. Born a princess of Baroda in Gujarat, she captivated the royal world with her impeccable style. Her elegance and fashion sense remain legendary, epitomizing grace even 55 years after her death. From using luxurious fabrics like French chiffon and silks to create flowing printed sarees to owning an extraordinary number of shoes when other queens coveted jewels, she defined royal sophistication.


As the first Indian princess to receive a Western education, Maharani Indira Devi possessed an array of stunning jewels, often adorning not only her saris but also her footwear with gems, pearls, and gold. Born in 1892, she was an ardent fan of the Italian luxury fashion label Salvatore Ferragamo. She brought meaning to the terms “fashionista” and “trendsetter” long before they existed, famously ordering not ten or twenty but 100 pairs of shoes from the Italian luxury brand. Some of her shoes became iconic due to their opulence.


Indira Devi was the first Indian woman to have her footwear customized. One pair, sheathed in green velvet, featured a spiral of pearls on the heels; another black velvet pair was adorned with a diamond-studded buckle. The fashion-forward Maharani commissioned the most stunning pair of wedges, an innovation by Ferragamo in 1938. These sandals, with uppers composed of kid and satin bands, a cork wedge, and a gem-studded brass structure would have made Cinderella envious. What competition is a breakable glass slipper to one embedded with rubies, emeralds, diamonds, and other stones sent by the queen herself?

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Salvatore Ferragamo with his wooden shoe forms, which he used to create footwear for celebrities and royalty alike. After Indira Devi the only Indian to get a wooden shoe to be displayed at the Ferragamo museum is Priyanka Chopra. Via Instagram / @vintagemoviestars

It wasn’t just the Maharani of Cooch Behar who was enamored with the Ferragamo label; the admiration was mutual. The Salvatore Ferragamo Shoe Museum in Florence immortalized Indira Devi’s footprint with a wooden shoe displayed in the museum. Over 50 years ago, she became the first Indian to have a wooden shoe cast. The museum houses the footprints of fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Sophia Loren. The Indian queen, with her passionate love for fashion, truly deserved this honor.

Maharani Indira Devi passed on her fervent love for fashion to her daughter, Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur, another icon of timeless style. She was celebrated for her elegance, independence, and modernity and was often regarded as one of the most beautiful royals.

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While it may not have been customary for royalty, one wonders if this mother-daughter duo shared these dazzling Ferragamo creations or if Maharani Gayatri Devi inherited the exquisite shoe collection. Guess some royal secrets are best left that way!

Snubbed at the showroom Indian king used Rolls Royces as garbage trucks –

Forget shoes; this Indian Maharaja ordered over half a dozen Rolls-Royces not as part of his royal fleet of cars but to be used as municipal garbage collection vehicles. Before the First World War, more than 20,000 Rolls-Royces were built, 20% of which wound up on Indian shores. But it took the charming HH Jai Singh Prabhakar, an absolute Indian English orator and scholar, to turn them into garbage trucks. The luxury car-shopping spree was the result of being snubbed by a Rolls-Royce salesman in a Mayfair car showroom. What ensued next was certainly unprecedented and an absolute shock to the salesman who was put in his place by this erudite royal.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.