Once upon a time there was Queen -- graceful, gutsy and ever-so-regal.
Unfortunately, Bollywood's shortage of costume dramas and period-driven historicals hardly leaves any scope to showcase royalty on celluloid.
Flash forward to a time when Mala Sinha played Jahan Ara with elan while Bina Rai slipped into the garb of Malka-E-Alam Mumtaz in Taj Mahal.
Better known as Amitabh Bachchan's mommy in the 70s, Nirupa Roy played the majestic and courageous Rani Roopmati whereas Mehtab fought with aplomb as Rani Laxmibai in Sohrab Modi's Jhansi Ki Rani.
And who could forget Durga Khote's passionate rendition of Empress Jodha Bai in the baap of all epics, Mughal-E-Azam?
Now, the ethereal Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is all set to play her younger version in Ashutosh Gowariker's eagerly anticipated, Jodhaa Akbar.
rediff.com takes a look at the royal better halves of recent (and not so) times.
Kareena Kapoor as Princess Kaurwaki in Asoka
Asoka may have been a much-hyped blunder, but Kareena Kapoor certainly looked every bit of wild royalty in those kohl-lined eyes, tattooed arms and sword fight sequences.
Bebo plays an on-the-run Princess of Kalinga, along with her kid brother, after their parents are brutally assassinated. Her spirited aura impresses Magadha Prince, Ashoka (Shah Rukh Khan) a great deal and the duo, unaware of each others' noble bloodline, fall in love.
Even though the story doesn't take a happily-ever-after route, it aims to convey the significance of non-violence.
Text: Sukanya Verma
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