Maharaja Duleep Singh ji ( the black prince)

maharaja duleep singh

Maharaja Duleep Singh ( last King of Sikh Empire)

Introduction: Maharaja Duleep Singh, also known as Dalip Singh and Queen Victoria affectionately called him the Black Prince, holds an important place in Sikh history as the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. Born on 6 September 1838 in Lahore, Punjab, Duleep Singh ascended the throne at the age of five after the death of his father, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. His reign was characterized by political turmoil, the British annexation of Punjab and his exile in England. This article delves into the life, struggles and enduring legacy of Maharaja Duleep Singh, highlighting his early years as Maharaja, his relationship with the British, his conversion to Christianity and his contribution to Sikh history and heritage.

maharaja Duleep singh

Early Childhood : After the demise of his brother and nephew, Duleep Singh were younger heirs to the throne of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Khalsa kingdom. He came to power in September 1843, at the age of five, with his mother ruling on his behalf, and after their defeat in the Anglo-Sikh War under the leadership of the British Resident. The early years of the life of Duleep Singh, the new and last Maharaja of Punjab, played out against the opulent backdrop of his grandfather’s court and the opulent palaces and gardens of Lahore.

As a boy he enjoyed falconry and had the best horses and elephants to ride. He received royal education with two tutors, one Persian and one Gurmukhi. He was taught how to shoot with a gun and bow and trained in command. His mother’s love turned to him. It must have seemed like a kind of paradise, a place full of magical charm for the boy, but the brutality of politics quickly invaded.

Now the court minister Dogra brothers and the British sitting on the other side of the border of Punjab. There was only one obstacle in there path, Maharaja Dalip Singh. They knew that as long as Maharaj Duleep Singh’s mother Maharani Jind Kaur was with him, Duleep Singh could not be dethroned. The British and the Dogre brothers together bought the soldiers of the royal court to separate this mother and son. Knowingly the army of Khalsa Raj had to bow down. By strategizing with the enemy, thousands of Sikhs were killed and many battles were lost. And all these allegations were leveled against Maharani Zinda.

maharani jind kaur and maharaja duleep Singh

Maharani jinda knows about his son : One day, her brother brought a Message to Queen Zinda who was sitting in her palace. Message was That Maharani ji, orders have been issued to leave you from Lahore!! The queen is surprised and asks that my son, the Maharaja, is small. He has gone hunting with his two brothers. Maharani Zinda’s brother looked down with great regret and said, “Sister, you also know that the entire Lahore court has been sold.” Now the one giving orders is not your son, they was britishers. And they  passed this order in the court. And let me tell you more one sad thing that , sister, your son did not go hunting, with dogra brothers , dogra brothers have taken him so that mother and son can stay away forever. Now you will hardly be able to see the face of your beloved son. Hearing this, the ground slipped beneath the feet of Maharanj Zinda. With shock, her mind got shaken and she became unconscious. 

When the Dogras were about to kill Maharaja Dalip Singh, the john login took him to Fatehgarh Sahib. at that time he was only 10 years old.  He left the throne, palace, most of his wealth and lands, and never returned. Fatehgarh, the center of Christianity in northern India, was the place where Duleep Singh, isolated from other Sikh influences, converted from a Sikh to a Christian.  His hair was cut. Her hair was sent as a gift to Queen Victoria in a gift box. He was also separated from his mother, who was transferred to Punjab to prevent her from becoming a rallying point for Sikh issues in Punjab.

Sent to England:A year later, Duleep Singh was sent to England, where he received a royal audience and quickly became a success in the presence of Queen Victoria. During his stay at Buckingham Palace, he commissioned Franz Xavier Winterhalter, the best painter of the time, to paint a portrait of Duleep Singh. It was during the photo session that the young Maharajah got the opportunity to hold the iconic Kohinoor diamond, which Prince Albert had previously tried to cut in two. This is to increase the brightness.

Duleep Singh looked at the diamond for a few seconds and then returned the ring to the queen. The story of the gift of diamonds to the queen is famous all over the world. Lord Dalhousie is said to have been furious at hearing this. Ultimately, Dalhousie officials sued the government of the country where the diamonds were located.

Even today there is a superstition that whoever wears a diamond brings good luck. When we see what happened to the men in diamonds, one can understand why the English were so vigilant, cutting off frogs’ wings and filling the Tower of London with gibrator monkeys as a reason for their superstitions.- In vain. No male heir to the English throne will wear it. To be sure, it is attached to the crown of the Queen Mother. Fifty years ago, when the coronet used for the funeral of her husband, George VI, was placed in the gun carriage carrying Queen Elizabeth’s mother to her funeral, it fell on this wreathed ground, and rumors of fate soon spread. 

Early Years in Scotland : The king lived in Scotland, in the Perthshire area, in his youth and twenties. In fact, the young man quickly became the center of attention, with the locals calling him “The Black Prince of Perthshire”. He became popular because of the large concerts, recordings and parties he held, which were popular over the years.

His conversion is still controversial, and it happened before he was 15 years old. Later he had serious doubts and regretted this decision and returned to Sikhism in 1853.

Life in England: Duleep Singh came to England in 1854 and joined the British Court. Queen Victoria treated his love with great reverence, like a boy. Before the East India Company bought a house in Wimbledon, Duleep Singh first stayed at the Claridge Hotel in London and later bought another house in Rohampton which was his home for three years. The Queen invited her to stay at the royal family in Osborne, where she played with her children, and she was photographed by Prince Albert, but she was photographed by the court architect Winterhalter.

He eventually became disillusioned with Roehampton and wanted to return to India, but East India Company advised him to go to continental Europe, which he did with Sir John Spencer Login and Lady Login. He was a member of the Photographic Society and later the Royal Photographic Society from 1855 until his death. Eventually he became disillusioned with Roehampton and wanted to return to India, but the East India Company advised him to go to Europe, which he did with Sir John Spencer’s Sign and Lady Sign. He was a member of the Photographic Society and later the Royal Photographic Society from 1855 until his death.

 

Mulgrave castle: From 1858 to 1862, Duleep Singh rented Mulgrave Castle near Whitby.

 

Meeting with his mother : When he was 18, Duleep’s mind there is a desire to take back his kingdom and to meet his mother. An English servant who was with Duleep for years and was his sympathizer. Duleep requested him to meet his mother. That servant would ask every traveler coming from India about Maharani Zinda. In this way a year passed while trying to trace Zinda. After a year, when that servant came to know about it, he told Duleep Singh that your mother was spending her days in the shelter of King Rana Jang Bahadur of Nepal. His age is 52 years. Due to separation from their son, their eyesight has gone blind due to crying. The hair on the head has turned white. She gets up and sits with the help of a stick. After hearing all this, Duleep Singh felt like going to meet his mother. Duleep Singh asked permission from Queen Victoria but the Queen did not agree. Duleep Singh kept talking. For a year, Duleep kept traveling through Queen Victoria to meet his mother. On 16 January 1861 Permission was finally granted after a year. But on one condition, that both of them can be found at any other place in India but not in Punjab. Duleep Singhsoon sent word of your arrival to his mother. 

maharaja duleep singh

When Duleep reached Calcutta he came to know that it would take three days for his mother to arrive. Couldn’t resist it. Next day he came to Raniganj. On the day his mother was to come, he got ready early in the morning and stood on the road. While standing in the afternoon, finally a small caravan was seen coming from a distance. He ran away and reached the convoy. When Zinda got down from the palanquin, Duleep Singh hugged her. Today Jind kaur was feeling sad about losing his eyesight. That even after so many years she could not see the face of her child. , That’s why she was guessing his appearance using her hands only. When he touched his son’s head, the ground slipped beneath his feet. Only then did Jind Kaur cover her son and push him away from her. Maharani Jind kaur’s joy of getting a son after many years turned into sadness. She would say in her voice, “Son, what have you done?” I never felt so sad the day my husband left me, even when my kingdom was taken away from me, I did not give up. But today because of your disguise, I am feeling defeated in front of the British, go away from my eyes. Then Duleep Singh says that all this has happened because of our separation. I promise that I will become a Sikh again. Don’t take me away from you. Zinda also realized that it was not his fault but the circumstances. Mother and son stayed in Calcutta for 3 months. Then Duleep brought his mother to London. When both of them reached London, the people there also felt the difference in Duleep Singh’s nature. Duleep Singh’s attitude now resembled that of a Maharaja. He had put the cases back. Maharani Jind kaur also told Duleep Singh about her personal properties. After seeing these changes in Duleep Singh ji, the British did not allow these two mother and son to live together even in London. Even though both lived in the same city, they lived at a distance of 7 miles. They could not meet without the permission of Queen Victoria. jind kaur could not bear the separation from Duleep Singh again. She was on her last breaths. While leaving she wanted to meet her son. But Queen Victoria did not allow Duleep to meet her. When the British were convinced that only a few years were left for Jind kaur, then Jind kaur was allowed to meet Duleep. While dying, Jind kaur had only one wish that his last rites should take place in Punjab. Duleep Singh handled the dead body on the advice of the doctor but he was not allowed to go to Punjab. He kept pleading with the queen. After 3 months, the Queen allowed Duleep to go to Punjab for a day. Duleep Singh had just reached the port by ship carrying his mother’s body. The soldiers surrounded him. It is said that new orders have come from the Queen that you cannot go to Punjab. Duleep felt very sad. Then he performed the rites of Mother Narmada River And Came to London with ashes 

maharaja duleep singh

Back to Sikhi : In 1864 Duleep Singh married Bamba Muller in Cairo and they lived at Elvedon Hall in Suffolk. He eventually became disillusioned with the wrath of the British and returned to Sikhism.

While in exile, he tried to learn more about Sikhism and was eager to return to India. Despite earlier attempts to forgive his captors, he rejoined his cousin Sardar Thakar Singh Sandhawalia, who left Amritsar for England on 28 September 1884, accompanied by his sons Narinder Singh and Gurdit Singh and Sikh granthi (priest) Pratap Singh. In fact, in fact. He also brought to India a list of properties owned by Sir Dulip Singh. All this contributed to his relationship with Sikhism.

The British government decided in 1886 that they had to return to India or reconvert to Sikhism. He returned home on 30 March 1886 despite the opposition of the India Office. But he was arrested at Aden, then part of the Aden Division, where he held the office of Indian Viceroy. A delegation sent by Sardar Thakur Singh Sandhawalia, who had organized the Pahal ceremony in Bombay, failed to prevent an illegal reinstatement of Aden from India, which was much smaller and more symbolic. [28] Sir Dulip had to return to Europe.

live in Paris: He decided to return to India with his family, and after being locked up in Aden by the British authorities, he left his family and went to Paris, where he joined Ada Douglas Weatherill . They were married on April 28, 1889 in Paris. She stayed with him during his years in Paris and they both also travelled to St. Petersburg Russia He failed to convince the Tsar of the advantage of invading  India from the north and reinstalling him as ruler.

Died: Maharaja Duleep Singh died in Paris in 1893 at the age of 55. He visited India on only two brief, tightly controlled visits, in 1860 (to bring his mother to England) and in 1863 (to bury his mother). He could not go to Punjab even once. Which was their heart’s desire.

Given the symbolic value of the Punjab lion’s funeral and the growing resentment against British rule, Maharaja Duleep Singh’s desire to bring his body back to India could not be fulfilled due to fear of unrest. His body was brought back for Christian burial under the supervision of the India Office, at Elvedon Church, next to the tombs of his wife Maharani Bamba and his son, Prince Edward Albert Duleep Singh. The graves are to the west of the church.

Family : Duleep Singh married twice, first to Bamba Muller in 1864 and then to Ada Douglas Weatherill (1869–1930) in 1889. They had a total of eight children.

He had seven children from his marriage to Bumb. Their first child and male heir died one day in 1865. Others are:

Prince Victor Albert Jai Duleep Singh (10 January 1866 – 7 June 1918)
Prince Frederick Victor Duleep Singh (23 January 1868 – 15 August 1926)
Princess Bamba Sophia Jindon Duleep Singh (29 September 1869 – 10 March 1957)
Princess Catherine Hilda Duleep Singh (27 October 1871 – 8 November 1942)
Princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh (8 August 1876 – 22 August 1948)
Prince Albert Edward Alexander Duleep Singh (1879 – 1 May 1893)

He also had two children from his marriage to Weatherill.

Princess Pauline Alexandra Duleep Singh (26 December 1887 – 10 April 1941)
Princess Ada Irena Beryl Duleep Singh (25 October 1889 – 14 September 1926)
All eight sons died without legitimate issue, ending the direct line of Sikh royal families.

Princes Victor and Frederick, the two sons of Maharaja Sir Duleep Singh, who studied at Eton in the 1970s, are commemorated at Eton College in England.

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