The King Who ‘Trashed’ Rolls-Royce
In the year 1920, an Indian man was walking down the streets of Mayfair, London, when he saw a showroom for the very well-esteemed Rolls-Royce. He went inside the showroom and began enquiring about the specifications of a Rolls-Royce Phantom II Tourer. However, the salesman disregarded him because of his casual attire, denied him the car’s test drive and rudely instructed the man to leave.
🪢 The Twist
If only he knew who that man was, he wouldn’t have dared to behave so rudely. That casually dressed man was the Maharaj of Alwar, Jai Singh Prabhakar.
Indian royalty’s inquisitiveness toward luxury cars was no secret and Maharaja Jai Singh too had a fondness for the same. An assumption suggests that, on average, each Maharaja had 3-5 Rolls-Royces in their possession. As there were 230 Maharajas in the colonised rule, approximately 900 Rolls-Royces had to have been owned by them, which is just another indication of how extravagantly the royalty lived their lives around the early ’90s.
💸 A Matter of Pride
Coming back to the story, Maharaja Jai Singh was infuriated with the discriminating behaviour of the young salesman. He asked for the manager and told him that he’ll buy every single car present in the showroom, 7 Rolls-Royces to be precise. He paid the full amount at once and asked that salesman to personally deliver them to his palace.
When the man arrived with the cars in India, the Maharaj ordered his assistant to use these vehicles for collecting garbage. Soon, this degrading gesture went viral, when the term ‘viral’ wasn’t even a thing and it was the only thing anyone could talk about.
🔮 In a Parallel Universe…
The luxury car, which was regarded as a symbol of wealth, had now become but a laughing stock. It sure made a dent in Rolls-Royce’s global reputation, which made it imperative for the owners of the brand to write an apology to the Maharaj. To make their apology heard, they even offered six brand-new Rolls-Royces as a gift.
Fortunately for them, the Maharaj accepted their apology and stopped the cars from being used to pick up trash. Who knows, the brand which we know of as a status symbol even today might have just been lost in the herd like any other car manufacturing company.