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Detail from a map of India and the Middle East, showing the route of the Prince of Wales' tour
The Prince of Wales's Tour of India in 1875-6

Albert Edward's tour aimed to strengthen ties between the two countries

First steps in India

Prince of Wales presentation medal for his tour of India 1875-76©

On 8 November, after nearly a month at sea, the Prince of Wales arrived at the port of Colaba, Bombay (modern-day Mumbai). To mark the Prince’s arrival in India, guns were simultaneously fired in a royal salute in major cities across the Indian subcontinent. In Bombay, the Prince hosted his first reception for the Indian rulers. Here he adopted Indian court customs such as offering paan (shavings of betel-nut, various seeds and spices, and lime-paste wrapped in a betel-leaf) and attar (perfume) to welcome them.

An important aspect of Indian diplomacy was an exchange of gifts. The Prince presented commemorative gold and silver medals, bracelets, rings, lockets and watches commissioned from the crown jeweller, Garrard and Co., and presentation rifles, swords and daggers from Purdey and Sons and the Wilkinson Sword Company. Illustrated books such as Joseph Nash’s Views of the Interior and Exterior of Windsor Castle and portrait prints of the Prince and Princess of Wales and Queen Victoria were also presented as gifts to the Indian rulers. In return, the Prince received gifts linked with Indian court traditions, many of which displayed craftsmanship that was much admired in England.

During the Prince’s first month on the Indian subcontinent he also visited Poona and Baroda (Pune and Vadodara). 

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