Emperor of India

Emperor/Empress of India
Star of India    Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom
The Star of India, along with the Royal Arms of the monarch
King George VI of England, formal photo portrait, circa 1940-1946.jpg
Last in Office
George VI

11 December 1936 – 22 June 1948
StyleHer Imperial Majesty
1 May 1876 – 22 January 1901
His Imperial Majesty
22 January 1901 – 22 June 1948
styled H.I.M.
First monarchVictoria
Last monarchGeorge VI
Formation1 May 1876
Abolition22 June 1948
ResidenceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Buckingham Palace
British Raj India
Government House (1858-1931)
Viceroy's House (1931-1947)

Emperor/Empress of India (Kaisar-i-Hind, Urdu: قیصرِ ہند ‎, Hindi: हिन्द का कैसर)[1], shortened to King-Emperor or Queen-Empress, was a title used by British monarchs from 1 May 1876 (see Royal Titles Act 1876) to 22 June 1948[2][3][4]. The Emperor/Empress's image was used to signify British authority — his/her profile, for instance, appearing on currency, in government buildings, railway stations, courts, on statues etc. "God Save the King" (or, alternatively, "God Save the Queen") was the former national anthem of British India. Oaths of allegiance were made to the Emperor/Empress and his/her lawful successors by the Governors-General, princes, governors, commissioners in India in events such as Imperial Durbars.

The title was abolished on 22 June 1948 by the Indian Independence Act 1947 and George VI subsequently became King of the two new Dominions of India and Pakistan. The Monarchies were abolished when George VI ceased to be head of the new Republic of India in 1950, after it became a constitutional republic, and when Elizabeth II ceased to be head of the new Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956, after it became an Islamic republic.


The Emperor/Empress took little direct part in government. The exercise of sovereign powers was delegated from the Emperor/Empress, either by statute or by convention, to the Viceroy and Governor-General of India who were appointed by the Emperor/Empress, or to offices such as the Secretary of State for India. The appointed Viceroy and Governor-General was also the ex-officio head of the Imperial Legislative Council, and it's two houses, the Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of State as the delegation on behalf of the Emperor/Empress, along with the governors of provinces. They performed these duties with the advice and consent of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Government of India.

Executive power was exercised by His/Her Imperial Majesty's Government in the presidencies and provinces (via the Viceroy and Governors-General) and the princely states via suzerainty. They had the support of the Armed Forces in India, such as the British Indian Army and Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Civil Service and other Crown Servants Secret Services (as the Emperor/Empress received certain foreign intelligence reports before the Viceroy did).

Judicial power was vested in the various Crown Courts in India, which by statute had judicial independence from the Government.

Unlike the United Kingdom, the Church of England did not control Indian matters, because it would have been unacceptable to the followers of various religions in India.

Powers independent of government were legally granted to other public bodies by statute or Statutory Instrument such as an Order in Council or a Royal Commission.

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