Meet The ‘King’ Of Jaipur Padmanabh Singh, India’s Latest Billionaire Icon

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Meet the 20-year-old ‘king’ of Jaipur, India, a polo star who spends his multimillion-dollar fortune traveling the world and studying in NYC and Rome.

Images used from Getty Images/Elle India & Vogue India

At 20 years old, Padmanabh Singh controls a fortune of between $697 million and $855 million and is called a “king.”

Padmanabh Singh, full title Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur, is the young monarch of Jaipur, a city in northwestern India famous for its pink architecture and imperial palaces.

Singh’s royal title is not officially recognized by law, as India is a federal parliamentary democratic republic with a president and a prime minister. But it “still inspires respect in this deeply hierarchical country where the aristocracy is venerated despite rapid social change,” according to the Guardian.

The wealth of the royal family is estimated to be between $697 million and $2.8 billion.

Singh spends his time playing polo, studying liberal arts, walking in fashion shows, and traveling the world.

Here’s a look at the young royal’s life.

He became king in 2011 after the death of his grandfather, Sawai Man Singhji Bahadur, who was called “the last Maharaja of Jaipur” when he died because he ascended to the throne soon before royal privileges stopped being recognized in India.

Singh’s title is not officially recognized by law, as India is a federal parliamentary democratic republic with a president and a prime minister. But according to The Guardian, the title “still inspires respect in this deeply hierarchical country where the aristocracy is venerated despite rapid social change.”

 

Jaipur is the capital of the Rajasthan state in northwestern India, known for its pink architecture and royal palaces.

The royal family lives in the City Palace, which was founded in 1727 and spans a series of courtyards.

At age 4, Singh left Jaipur to go to boarding school at Mayo College in Ajmer.

The school is nicknamed “India’s Eton” after the prestigious English school. “My boarding school shaped me the way I am,” Singh told the Week magazine. “It was a tough life with strict discipline and no luxuries.”

Singh celebrated his 18th birthday on July 12, 2016 at the City Palace in Jaipur.

A pink and gold silk umbrella was carried over his head as he walked into a court of former nobles.

The former nobles were there to offer him Nazar, a traditional form of respect.

Here, Singh is greeted by his younger sister, Princess Gauravi Kumari.

Singh’s mother is Princess Diya Kumari, a politician and member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly …

… and his father is Narendra Singh. Singh became king after his grandfather because his mother was his grandfather’s only child and his father, Narendra, was a “commoner.”

The couple announced their separation this month after 21 years of marriage.

Singh spends his time studying, playing polo, traveling, and attending charity and fashion events.

The young monarch made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia list for 2018 for his “prowess on the polo field,” as he served as captain of the first Indian polo team in England in 20 years.

Forbes noted that Singh was the youngest winner of the Indian Open Polo Cup and the youngest member ever of a World Cup polo team.

Fashion seems to be another of Singh’s passions. In June 2018, he walked the runway at a Dolce & Gabanna show in Milan, Italy.

He was also photographed in Milan with Claire Deroo, who he has called one of his best friends.

According to GQ India, Singh “always been an icon to fans and followers, with his understated yet classic style.”

Photos posted to his Instagram account often showcase his sartorial selections.

“I don’t like to fiddle around too much with my style, and try to be as elegant as possible,” Singh once told the Week magazine.

In 2017, Singh escorted Ava Phillippe, the daughter of actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, to the charitable Bal des Débutantes in Paris.

He said living in New York made him discover Netflix and sushi. “Cooped up in my apartment with a bunch of friends, I watched Game of Thrones all winter,” he told the Week. “I realized sushi was so cool!”

Singh does not appear to have graduated from NYU, but he moved to Rome, Italy, in September 2018 to study art at a private university. “I lost my heart to Italy; it is the most beautiful country in the world,” he told the Week magazine. “With its old buildings and grand architecture, it always feels like home.”

The apartment includes a bedroom with en suite bathroom, a dressing room, a private dining room and kitchen, a private veranda, and a heated pool.

Singh celebrated the Holi festival at the City Palace in Jaipur on March 1, 2018.

While the origin of the royal family’s wealth is unclear, Singh is likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Jaipur royal family is known to control “immense wealth,” but estimates of their actual fortune vary, from $621.8 million in 2011, which would be worth about $696.7 million today …

… all the way up to 20,000 rupees crores. One crore is equal to 10 million rupees, or about $142,531. So if Singh is worth 20,000 rupees crores, as one Indian newspaper estimates, that would equal about $2.8 billion.

Singh has big plans as the Maharaja of Jaipur. “We are in a democracy now, and I cannot let my background go to my head,” he told the Week magazine. He added that he could never be content “to just live in this bubble and not travel the world.”

He said he considers it his duty to act as an ambassador throughout India and the world. “At the moment, I am focusing on my life, but I want to create Jaipur as a destination, host a lot of people and popularize Rajasthan’s art and culture,” Singh said.

 

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