Tradition and Egalitarian Modernism

September 28, 2023

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Maharaja of Jaipur, rides atop a splendidly decorated elephant during a trip to India. The natural distinction of the Queen and the majesty of the Crown are deservedly enhanced by all the resources of a refined art that combines richness and good taste. Thus, almost intuitively, the people understand the dignity of public power and the divine origin it possesses in the various forms of government.

The photograph [above] was taken during the same visit. The women are wearing men’s clothing, and people of rank are wearing the most common clothing. In the center is the Queen, flanked by the Maharaja and the Maharani of Jaipur. A bit farther over is the Duke of Edinburgh. They have just returned from a hunt. But hunts do not by any means demand that clothing like this be worn.

We do not need to mention the very elegant traditional hunting attire in Europe, since it suffices to remember the hunting apparel used by the Indians themselves until a short time ago. The two servants mounted on elephants in the background provide an example of this: they are the most distinctively dressed people in the group.

Ambiences, Costumes and Civilizations, “Catolicismo” Nº 126 – Junho de 1961

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