Maharaja Dalip Singh, Lahore, Sikh Empire 1838-1893, commonly called Duleep Singh and later in life nicknamed the Black Prince of Perthshire, was the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. He was the youngest son of the legendary "Lion of the Punjab" Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharani Jind Kaur, and came to power after a series of intrigues, in which several other claimants to the throne and to the Koh-i-Noor diamond, killed each other.
After his exile to Britain at age 13 following the British annexation of the Punjab, he was befriended by Queen Victoria. In June 1850, Lord Dalhousie presented the Kohinoor Diamond by Dalip Singh after it was confiscated by the British. From that date on, the diamond became part of the Crown Jewels, set in the Crown of Queen Elizabeth and on display in the Jewel House in the Tower of London.[5
Maharani Jind Kaur (1817 – 1 August 1863) was the youngest wife of the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, Ranjit Singh, and the mother of the last Maharaja, Duleep Singh. She was renowned for her beauty, energy and strength of purpose and was popularly known as Rani Jindan, but her fame is derived chiefly from the fear she engendered in the British in India, who described her as "the Messalina of the Punjab".
Suffragette Princess Sophia Jindan Alexdrowna Duleep Singh (daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire) "when the women of England are enfranchised I shall pay my taxes willingly. If I am not a fit person for the purposes of representation, why should I be a fit person for taxation?"
1801 - 2009 | This timeline was produced for the 'Maharajah Duleep Singh - Sovereign, Squire & Rebel' exhibition that told the extraordinary story of the conections between Thetford and the family. A king at five, the Maharajah became a favourite of Queen Victoria and was close to the Royal Household. He lived a life of an English aristocrat but died a broken man, alone and in poverty.
This order of merit, made in Lahore around 1879, is of enamelled gold set with emeralds.This award was introduced by Ranjit Singh, possibly in direct emulation of the French Legion d‘Honneur worn by one of his foreign military commanders, General Allard. It may be the ‘Star of prosperity of the Punjab‘ instituted in 1837 on the occasion of the wedding of his grandson and came from the collection of his son Duleep Singh.