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When Edward VII ascended to the throne on January 22, 1901, he continued the imperial tradition laid down by his mother, Queen Victoria, by adopting the title Emperor of India. Three subsequent British monarchs followed in his footsteps.

The first emperor to visit India was George V. For his imperial coronation ceremony at the Delhi Durbar, the Imperial Crown of India was created. The Crown weighs 920 g (2.03 lb) and is set with 6,170 diamonds, 9 emeralds, 4 rubies, and 4 sapphires. At the front is a very fine emerald weighing 32 carats (6.4 g). The king wrote in his diary that it was heavy and uncomfortable to wear: “Rather tired after wearing my crown for 3+1⁄2 hours; it hurt my head, as it is pretty heavy.”

The title “Emperor of India” did not disappear when British India became the Dominion of India (1947–1950) and Dominion of Pakistan (1947–1952) after independence in 1947.

George VI retained the title until June 22, 1948, the date of a Royal Proclamation made in accordance with Section 7 (2) of the Indian Independence Act 1947, reading: “The assent of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is hereby given to the omission from the Royal Style and Titles of the words “Indiae Imperator” and the words “Emperor of India” and to the issue by His Majesty for that purpose of His Royal Proclamation under the Great Seal of the Realm.”

Thereafter, George VI remained monarch of Pakistan until his death in 1952 and of India until it became the Republic of India in 1950.