Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda
One of the most flamboyant royals of India, Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda was fond of the high European life. The queen lived a large part of her life between Paris and Monaco, and was even awarded the citizenship of Monaco in her later years. According to records, she would travel everywhere with hundreds of saris, shoes, furs, and her famous ruby-studded cigarette holder. Her controversial marriage to the Maharaja of Baroda (both of them were married to other people when they met and began their relationship) made her even more fascinating and, maybe a little notorious.
She was well-known for extravagances like ordering pure gold tongue cleaners from French luxury jewellery company Van Cleef and Arpels. In 2019, her iconic Baroda Pearl Canopy, a unique piece consisting of 9,50,000 precious Basra pearls, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and coloured glass beads, was auctioned off at Christie’s for $2,235,000 (INR 18 crores approx).