Jyotsna Singh, grand-daughter of the Maharaja of Patiala, recalls a bygone time: “Naniji was exceedingly beautiful and at a young age she was married to Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and had two daughters Elsie (my mother) and Angela (her younger sister). The English names were given by the English governesses who could not pronounce the Indian names of the children. And there were a lot – 52 siblings, a pack of cards my mother would tell me…..Though the mothers lived at the palace and spent time with the children, the children were really brought up by the governesses. My grandfather lived in the main Motibagh Palace with his wives and his older children.
My mother was one of 32 of the younger children and they lived in Lalbagh Palace in the palace grounds. The grounds also had a zoo, a small train, a lake with boats. The children would visit their mothers in the zenana a few times a week as they did their father. When the kids visited their father, he would let them enter a large room full of toys. Each kid could pick up what they wanted before leaving.”