Anita Anand tells the fascinating and largely unknown story of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh – descendant of Sikh royalty, goddaughter of Queen Victoria and pioneering suffragette.
Princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh (8 August 1876 – 22 August 1948) was a prominent suffragette in the United Kingdom. Her father was Maharaja Duleep Singh, son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, known as the “Lion of the Punjab”, who abdicated his kingdom of Punjab to the British Raj due to political manoeuvring by Governor-General Dalhousie in India and was exiled to England where he converted to Christianity. Sophia’s mother was Maharani Bamba Müller.
Her godmother was Queen Victoria. She was a firebrand feminist who lived in Hampton Court at the apartment in Faraday House, granted to her by Queen Victoria as a grace and favour. She had four sisters (including two step sisters) and four brothers. She fashioned herself as an Edwardian lady, though of brown skin. In 1895, Sophia (who later in life became a suffragette) and her sisters Princess Bamba and Princess Catherine, were introduced as aristocratic “debutantes” into Buckingham Palace, all three dressed in regal finery.
Full description Sophia: Suffragette Princess Programme website Credits