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Past in Perspective.

Byline: Samuel Boyse

From thee all human actions take their springs, the rise of empires, the fall of kings

Maharaja Duleep Singh was son of the one-eyed 'Lion of Punjab', the warrior, Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

When young Duleep was double-talked into signing away his kingdom to the British, he was sent to England, separated from his mother, and settled with an enormous pension.

His good looks and impeccable manners made him a great favourite of Queen Victoria, who encouraged him to find a wife.

This he did, by falling in love with a missionary ward in Cairo named Bamba and establishing her as his maharani in a Suffolk home called Elveden.

Their marriage bore the Maharaja five children; 2 sons and 3 daughters.

When the charm of that life wore off, Maharaja Duleep struggled to make ends meet and in fact realised that his pension was nothing in front of his empire and demanded that it be doubled.

He began protesting against the British Empire for having stolen his kingdom, and he re-embraced the Sikh religion of his heritage.

He also took to drinking heavily, moved to Paris, married a woman named Ada (with whom he had two children), and savagely disowned his family back in England.

He died a sad broken death at only 55 years of age, and with that became the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire.

A film with the name of 'The Black Prince' was released in 2017 about the life and struggles of Maharaja Duleep Singh.

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Article Details
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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 17, 2017
Words:305
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