In this portrait of the Maharaja wearing Indian dress, the two "Indore Pears" are pendant from a diamond necklace that can be seen under the strands of pearls. Almost forty-seven carats each, they were sold to Harry Winston in 1946
Maharajadhiraj Raj Rajeshwar Sawai Shri Yeshwant Rao II Holkar XIV Bahadur (6 September 1908, Indore - 5 December 1961, Bombay), Maharaja of Indore, a member of the Holkar dynasty of the Marathas. Educated at Cheam School and at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1926, at the age of seventeen, he succeeded his father Tukojirao Holkar III, who had abdicated in his favor. At first under a regency, he was invested with his full powers in 1930.
In 1924 he had married Maharani Shrimant Akhand Soubhagyavati Sanyogita Bai Sahib Holkar (1914 - 13 July 1937, Tarasp, Switzerland). He and Maharani Sanyogita, who had also been educated in England, had a daughter, Usha, born in Paris in 1933. The royal couple, very young and fabulously wealthy, with quite contemporary tastes, were completely cosmopolitan, making very prolonged sojourns to Europe and America; there were complaints that they spent so little time in their home country.
In 1930 they commissioned a German architect to build a new streamlined Art Moderne palace, Manik Bagh, in Indore. Every detail of the this remarkable building was designed and created in Europe; the names involved in the project include, Ruhlmann, Le Corbusier, Puiforcat, Eileen Gray, Luckhardt, Brancusi, etc.
The Maharani Sanyogita died at the tender age of twenty-three. (I've been unable to find out any more information on her life. Since she died in Switzerland, one might conjecture that her death may have been the result of a respiratory illness, perhaps tuberculosis; the air and altitude of Switzerland was then still considered beneficial to those who suffered from these conditions.) She left behind her four year old daughter, and her husband, not even thirty, was devastated.
The Maharaja married twice more, both times to American divorcées. He had a son with his third wife, whom he had married in 1943, but because of the irregularity of this marriage, his titles eventually passed to his daughter from his first marriage.
After the independence of India, Indore was combined with twenty-four other princely states to form the new state of Madhya Bharat, where the Maharaja served as senior Up-Rajpramukh (second in command to the governor) until 1956, when the Indian states were again reorganized. He then worked for the United Nations. He died in a hospital in Bombay (Mumbai) at the age of fifty-three.