Bourbons on the Rocks

History, Odds and Ends

Unlike the occasional story about the last of the Mughals driving a rikshaw in Delhi, and the last of the Romanov’s living in genteel poverty in Coney Island, this one doesn’t reek of melancholy and nostalgia, as much as a prosaic middle-class take-everything-in-your-strideness.

Balthazar Napolean de Bourbon, a lawyer in Bhopal seems to be the next in line to inherit the throne of France. From the Guardian:

Prince Michael of Greece, the cousin of Prince Philip, this week published a historical novel called Le Rajah de Bourbon, which traces the swashbuckling story of Mr Bourbon’s first royal ancestor in India. Prince Michael believes Jean de Bourbon was a nephew of the first Bourbon French king, Henry IV. In the mid-16th century Jean embarked on an action-packed adventure across the world which saw him survive assassination attempts and kidnap by pirates to be sold at an Egyptian slave market and serve in the Ethiopian army. In 1560, he turned up at the court of the Mogul emperor Akbar. It was the beginning of a long line of Bourbons in India, who centuries later would serve as the administrators of Bhopal and become the second most important family in the region.

These days the Bourbons live a respectable middle class life and the very down to earth Mr. Bourbon:

….is aware that his family’s fortunes waned in Bhopal long ago. He describes the Indian branch of the family as Bourbons on the rocks.