I Never Knew That About Britain, presented by Paul Martin, explores Britain's rich and surprising history, unearthing eccentric characters and stories from Britain's past and celebrating some of the greatest technological, artistic, scientific and political achievements of the British people.
In this series, based on the bestselling book series by Christopher Winn, Paul will be joined by science presenter, Steve Mould, and British historian and broadcaster, Suzannah Lipscomb.
From traffic lights to the humble toilet, from the flying bike to the skyscraper, the trio of presenters travel the length of Great Britain to reveal the unusual stories and meet the people connected with them.
Runtime: 30 minutes
I Never Knew That About Britain - Manvendra Singh Gohil - Netflix
Manvendra Singh Gohil (born 23 September 1965) is an Indian prince who is the son and probable heir of the Maharaja of Rajpipla in Gujarat. He is the first openly gay prince in the world. He runs a charity, The Lakshya Trust, which works with the LGBT community.
I Never Knew That About Britain - Biography - Netflix
He was born in Ajmer, the only son of Maharana Shri Raghubir Singhji Rajendrasinghji Sahib, Maharana of Rajpipla, and his wife Maharani Rukmini Devi. Manvendra's mother was born as a princess of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. He has one sister, Minaxi Kumari, who is married into the princely family of Chenani in Jammu and Kashmir. In 1971, the government of India “de-recognized” the Indian princes, and Manvendra's father consequently lost the official title of Maharaja and the privy purse (an annual pension) that came with it. The princes adjusted to the new socialist regime; the Rajpipla royals converted their family seat, the Rajvant Palace in Rajpipla, into a tourist resort and location for film-shooting. They also set up a second residence in Mumbai. He was educated at Bombay Scottish School and at the Amrutben Jivanlal College of Commerce and Economics (one of the institutions in the Mithibai College campus in Vile Parle, Mumbai. His parents arranged marriage, and in January 1991, he married Chandrika Kumari, a princess of Jhabua State in Madhya Pradesh. Manvendra says about his marriage:
The marriage remained unconsummated. He says, “It was a total disaster. A total failure. The marriage never got consummated. I realized I had done something very wrong. Now two people were suffering instead of one. Far from becoming normal, my life was more miserable.” His wife filed for divorce after just over a year of marriage. Although further requests for marriage were received, he declined them. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 2002. He says: Upon being informed by the psychiatrists that their son was gay, Manvendra's parents accepted the truth, but stipulated that this matter should not be revealed to anyone else. He left Mumbai and began living full-time with his parents in the small town of Rajpipla. In 2006, the journalist Chirantana Bhatt approached Manvendra. He confided his sexual orientation and the mental stress he was going through as a closeted gay man to the journalist. On 14 March 2006, the story of his coming out made headlines in India and around the world. The “coming out” story was published first in the Vadodara edition of Dainik Bhaskar, a regional Gujarati language daily of the Bhaskar media group. It was covered the next day in all other editions of Divya Bhaskar, as also in Dainik Bhaskar (Hindi language) and Daily News Analysis (DNA), an English newspaper. The same day, it also made headlines in other English and vernacular newspapers across the country, and became a story that they followed up in their gossip and society pages for several weeks afterwards. Manvendra's effigies were burnt in Rajpipla, where people were shocked. Manavendra was jeered and heckled when he made a public appearance in the town. The publicity and public humiliation caused pain to his parents and sister. His family accused him of bringing dishonour and disowned him. He set up a charity for HIV/AIDS prevention. The Lakshya Trust trains female field workers who educate women married to MSM about safe sex practices. He appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show on 24 October 2007. He was one of three persons featured in the show entitled 'Gay Around the World'. He inaugurated the Euro Pride gay festival in Stockholm, Sweden, on 25 July 2008. He featured in a BBC Television series, Undercover Princes, screened on BBC Three in the UK in January 2009 which documented his search for a British boyfriend in Brighton. Since July 2010, he has served as editor of the gay male-centric print magazine Fun, which is published in Rajpipla.
"I thought that after marriage everything will be all right, that with a wife, I will have children and become “normal” and then I will be at peace. I was struggling and striving to be “normal.” I never knew and nobody told me that I was gay and [that] this itself is normal and it will not change. That this is what is called homosexuality and it is not a disease. I tremendously regret for ruining (Chandrika's) life. I feel guilty, but I simply did not know better."
I Never Knew That About Britain - References - Netflix