the weaving of British underwear

The Maharajah of Patiala was rumoured to be a connoisseur of underwear.


That potentate of potentates was assumed to have taken a “whole floor” at the Savoy Hotel and assumed to be out shopping for “his sartorial foible, British underpants of a particular weave costing £200 per pair,” assumed to have “brought from India his special curry cook who takes twelve hours to prepare that dish,” assumed to spend “three and a half hours every morning curling his sardonic beard and adjusting his jewel-studded turban.”


To an English friend who strolled in when he was pulling on his quite modest underpants, His Highness said, “I noticed yesterday that it took exactly two and a half minutes to comb my beard and put on my turban. I have not brought from India regalia worth eight million pounds Sterling. I left my curry cook in Paris to supervise the diet of the Maharanee who is ill. I don’t insist that every article of leather be removed from any room I occupy. Most of my entourage are staying in Paris. I am here at the Savoy in two small suites—and having a jolly good time.”


In a small suite at Dorchester House the Gaekwar of Baroda briefly camped last week with his wife, a secretary and a few servants. Their Highnesses will slip over to Paris for the Gala Season and last week they left behind them in France their sleek motor car with solid gold fittings. As a self-made potentate would—the Gaekwar was a cowherder until adopted by the widowed Maharanee of Baroda as heir—His Highness did bring from India to the Jubilee gems such as Patiala was assumed to have brought.

42 carat gold bike found here

When correspondents addressed him respectfully as the Gaekwar of Baroda, his expression showed that something was amiss though his brief replies were the pink of Indian courtesy. “You see, gentlemen,” said the Gaekwar of Baroda’s secretary afterward, “His Highness the Maharaja should no more be called ‘The Gaekwar’ than a man who is Mr. Smith should be called ‘The Smith.’


There breathes no Englishman who does not know that Ranjitsinhji, the late sovereign of Nawangar, was the greatest Indian cricketer of all time and indeed one of the world’s greatest. In London honeymooning last week was Ranji’s nephew, His Highness the Maharaja Jam Saheb of Nawangar. For a wedding present he received a racehorse from the Aga Khan and five elephants from his father-in-law, the Marahao of Sirohi.


Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 8:21 am  Comments (38)  
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38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A close friend presumably, if he was strolling nonchalantly in at such a moment

    • Oh I’m always strolling nonchalantly through my friends’ rooms… close and otherwise

  2. Ah, yes, hoi polloi love their assumptions.

    • I love your correct usage of hoi polloi!

  3. I always wear a crown if I put on a turban – I feel naked otherwise and I dont feel quite warm enough

    • But you don’t need any extra warmth in Sri Lanka now do you?

  4. I was in India during Valentines Day last year: the campaign for the ‘pink chaddis’ was very successful in fighting back against the reactionary, conservative values of the Sri Ram Sena (a political movement advocating a more fundamentalist approach to love and relationships according to Hindu values.)

    • Were you visiting your b.i.l’s family?

  5. A 42 carat gold bike? Nearly twice as good as one of them pedestrian 24 carat numbers the plebes ride…

    • Nearly but not quite

  6. Even at £200 per pair, its still pretty much yellow in front and brown in back. I think the maxim still holds true for “sardonic beard” combing.

    • I’m not sure I can tell the difference between a sardonic beard and one that is not. Can you FJ?

  7. You might refer to Mr Smith as “The Smith”, if Smith was indeed a smith.

    • Here in Oz we’d probably just call him “Smitho”

  8. If you are that prone to explosion, why do you need a special package of underwear that advertises your condition to the world? haha

  9. Ranji, despite his name, regarded himself as an English cricketer, captaining Sussex and playing 15 matches for England. In fact, his test career was solely against Australia, scoring an average of 44.95 with a highest of 175. About the same as Adam Gilchrist or Simon Katich. Coincidentally, he was also known as ‘Smith’!!

    • Ooh thanks Affer. I love it when readers add more info to my posts!

  10. Maybe I should start being addressed as The Renal Failure, to separate myself from the medical ailment. And everyone can be like “Did you read The Renal Failure today?”

    • I always read The Renal Failure

  11. I appreciate a man who appreciates his underwear.

    • I appreciate a man who knows when it’s time to go commando

  12. I bet he didn’t think about pockets!

  13. changing my business cards to read “potentate of potentates”. that should settle things…

  14. What would he do with five elephants?

    • One for each day of the working week…..

  15. The importance of undercrackers cannot be emphasised too much ……..

  16. Polo teams have four per side; soccer: eleven; rugby: seven or fifteen. The only sport I can think of that could use five elephants is hockey, with the horse in goal. They would be formidable, without a doubt.

    • The pitch would be a terrible mess though

  17. In case you’re curious, I wear boxers. Easy access, if you know what I mean.

  18. I always travel with extra underwear. Never know when poorly timed fits of giggles may happen. 🙂

  19. British underpants are second to none … except when they are Y fronts

  20. HUZZAH!

  21. Frankly, three and a half hours farting around with beards and turbans was exactly the reason I started shaving and wearing a baseball hat.

  22. That man would make a resplendent drag queen.

    • He would too Rassles! I think he should be called Suzie Sardonic

  23. You know, you just can’t find good curry in Spain. Not near where I live anyway. Maybe you can tell that I’m hungry. Sorry.

    • I believe you. Guess you’ve got to cook it yourself. Have you had some basic dry spices shipped over?

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