One of India's wealthiest royal families, the Gaekwads of Baroda, have settled a bitter 23-year dispute over its estimated €3.5bn fortune, including some of the country's most opulent palaces and collections of jewels, lawyers have confirmed.
The Maharaja of Baroda was once the ruler of one of India's most powerful princely states, with his own army and navy, which he controlled from the Laxmi Vilas Palace, an imposing grand country house set in 600 acres with its own golf course. The family's estimated €3.5bn estate has been in dispute since shortly after the death of Maharaja Fetehsinghrao Gaekwad in 1988. His younger brother Ranjitsinh succeeded him, but another brother, Sangramsinh, said family tradition meant he was entitled to half.
Their mother disowned him after he began his legal action, but negotiations to settle the dispute were opened by Ranjitsinh's heir, Maharaja Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, shortly after his coronation last year. (©Daily Telegraph, London)