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Royal- Keeping up with the Pataudi’s!


The Royal Bollywood family where blue blood runs thick, they are the Pataudi’s and this is their story. The Pataudi family is a dynasty of Indian Nawabs from the former princely state of Pataudi. Today, the family’s head is actor Saif Ali Khan who is also one of the leading Bollywood actors of this era.

He was anointed as the 10th Nawab of Pataudi back in 2011 and this was done in an elaborate “Pagdi” ceremony where heads of 52 villages tied a white turban around Saif’s head- making him their chief. Though reluctant initially, Saif agreed to this ceremony to make sure he did not hurt the villagers’ sentiments. The title of “Nawab” is no longer recognized by the government and the last person to hold this title in the Pataudi family was Saif’s father- Mansoor Ali Khan.

The first Nawab of Pataudi was Faiz Talab Khan who was a Pashtun ethically from the Baruch tribe of Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was given this title in 1804. His descendants subsequently ruled the state until 1949, until it was merged with East Punjab and acceded to the Dominion of India. The Pataudis retained their titles and were granted privy purses until both were abolished by the Indian government in 1971.

The last one to rule from the Pataudi family was Iftikhar Ali Khan, Saif’s grandfather and both Saif’s father and grandfather were cricket players who even represented the Indian Cricket team with Mansoor Ali Khan even captaining the team and has been described as one of the best captains team India ever had. Saif Ali Khan’s ancestral home, Pataudi Palace is also known as “Ibrahim Kothi”. 10 acres of land with 150 rooms and luxurious interiors, the Kothi is one of the best examples of colonial mansions in India and several films like Lagaan, Mangal Pandey, Veer Zaara have been shot here.

The Pataudi family today has members like Saif, Taimur Ali Khan, Sara Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan, and Ibrahim Khan and more – most of them work in the film industry. In fact, Saif’s mother Sharmila Tagore is also closely related to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, so this family of Pataudi’s and Tagores is of great importance.

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