Miles Taylor

George V and Queen Mary watching the Delhi Durbar from the Red  Fort, accompanied by Indian princes acting as pages, 1911.

The voice of the British monarch carried considerable weight in imperial India. Its slow silencing mirrored the retreat of Britain from the subcontinent. 

The way the environment has been shaped and exploited is now a major field of historical study. A conference in London this month gathers leading experts in the field, writes Miles Taylor.