India Rose James says she was told she'd never have to work

‘Princess of Soho’ India Rose James whose £329million fortune made her richer than the Queen says she was told she’d never have to work and had to use books to teach herself the value of money

  • India Rose James is granddaughter of porn and property mogul Paul Raymond
  • The 28-year-old was brought up being ‘jokingly’ told she wouldn’t have to work
  • She admitted she didn’t always appreciate money but now understands it better 

The self-described Princess of Soho who was once declared richer than the Queen has admitted she hasn’t always appreciated the value of money. 

India Rose James, 28, said growing up she was told she would ‘never have to work’, thanks to the vast fortune she would one day inherit – and since has done – from her grandfather, the late porn and property mogul Paul Raymond. 

The £329million estate famously made India richer than Her Majesty at the age of 21 but also meant she sometimes took money for granted. 

‘I love that people think it’s, like, a big safe full of money, but it’s not,’ she said in an interview with The Times. ‘It’s tied up in the business. There’s definitely been points in my life where my take on money hasn’t always been very positive, because it was always there. 


India Rose James, 28, said growing up she was told she would ‘never have to work’, thanks to the vast fortune she would one day inherit – and since has done – from her grandfather, the late porn and property mogul Paul Raymond. Pictured, India in January this year

Paul Raymond, India’s beloved ‘Papa’, opened the famously raunchy Raymond Revuebar (pictured) in 1958 before branching out and founding his own adult magazine empire in 1964

‘I’m reading a book called The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge, about how to work with your attitude towards money, and it’s changed the way I view it. I’ve learnt to value a pound now.’ 

Paul Raymond, India’s beloved ‘Papa’, opened the famously raunchy Raymond Revuebar in 1958 before branching out and founding his own adult magazine empire in 1964.

Over the following years ploughed his profits into property to the extent that it was said he bought a freehold a week in 1977. The nickname ‘the King of Soho’ followed. 

When Paul died in 2008, the majority of his portfolio was left to India and her half-sister Fawn (whose biological father is Duncan Mackay from the rock band 10cc, but was adopted by India’s father John James as a child) then aged 16 and 22, respectively. A hefty chunk was also left to Paul’s son Howard.

India and Fawn’s mother Debbie died of a drug overdose at the age of 36, leaving behind ten-month-old India and six-year-old Fawn. 

The family fortune, which was estimated at £482 million in the 2016 Sunday Times rich list, is derived from a property empire that includes the site of Soho House, nightclub The Box, and the former premises of the bookshop Foyles.

However there was never an expectation that India herself would make her own money. 


India met former fiancé Hugh Harris (left in June 2016), lead guitarist of The Kooks, at Brown’s, Mayfair. Their first kiss was at Reading Festival in 2015 and three months later India was pregnant. Hugh proposed in 2016 but the couple never married. Right, India in February

‘No! I was told I never had to work, ever,’ she told the Times. Clarifying it wasn’t her grandfather who used to say that, she added:’It was more of a joke. But when people make jokes and you’re a child, you start to adopt those lines. But I always wanted to work, I’ve always had a free spirit.’ 

In her early 20s, India was a girl about town. A photo from that time shows a £10 note being burned with the comment ‘just saw £10 go up in flames… I could have used that to go home’.

Another tweet stated: ‘On Alex’s roof in Soho, looking down on the little people.’

India, who was kicked out of private school St George’s, Ascot over her ‘uncontrollable attitude’, became a firm fixture on the London social scene, frequenting fashion launches and art openings.

Paul Raymond with women at the Raymond Revuebar in 1958. Paul was able to dodge decency laws that barred naked women from moving around on stage by opening the venue as a private members’ club where those rules didn’t apply. He went on to snap up acres of Soho real estate

It was on a night out at celebrity haunt Brown’s Hotel, in Mayfair, that she met former  fiancé Hugh Harris, lead guitarist of The Kooks. Their first kiss was at Reading Festival in 2015 and three months later India was pregnant. 

Hugh proposed with an enormous emerald on the roof of the Hotel Café Royal in Piccadilly Circus in 2016. Soon afterwards their daughter Sapphire, known as Saffi, was born at The Portland Hospital in Central London, where well-heeled women including Victoria Beckham and the Duchess of York go to give birth.

The couple never married and later separated. 

India, who has been sober for two years, now runs a gallery on Wardour Street and had planned to reopen famous drag club Madame Jojo’s before covid-19 struck. 

Now, like many central London business owners, she is playing the waiting game.  

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