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Maharajah Duleep Singh


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A collection of rare sketches and photographs of Maharajah Duleep Singh

"Maharajah Duleep Singh as a ten year old : an elusive but remarkable image from the dawn of photography - a calotype made in Lahore by the East India Company surgeon john McCosh on the eve of the Anglo-Sikh War (1848-49)"


* Text and picture from The Maharajah's Box - Christy Campbell - HarperCollins - 2000

A Drawing by Queen Victoria of Duleep Singh and Prince Leopold. Duleep Singh is dressing the Prince in 'Sikh Dress' - Drawn at Osbourne House -Isle of Wight,UK - 1854

*From a sketchbook in The Royal Archives


The Maharajah with Prince Arthur, son of Queen Victoria - Osbourne House Aug 24 1854 - A sketch by Queen Victoria


*from Queen Victoria's Maharajah - Michael Alexander, Sushila Anand - Weidenfeld & Nicholson - 1980

Prince Alfred and Prince Arthur - Queen Victoria's sons, 1854 , wearing 'Sikh dresses' probably gifted by Duleep Singh - Alfred later became Duke of Edinburgh and Arthur became Duke of Connaught.


* from The Unforgettable Maharajas, 150 years of photography - E Jaiwant Paul, Pramod Kapoor - Roli - 2003

Maharajah Duleep Singh on his Wedding Day - 9 June 1864


The Maharajah in 1877 - a signed photograph


*from Queen Victoria's Maharajah Duleep Singh 1838 - 93 , Michael Alexander, Sushila Anand - 1980

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when he grew up he gradually thorugh circumstances removed his pagh/dhari etc and sometimes would only wear on occasions weddings etc.

best this o singh is to get this book worth buying for details insight into the sad story of a lost raja

Buy the Book brilliant pictures and details insight into the influences and


Amazon sell it for £18.99

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The Maharajah became a Christian in around 1850 - He had wanted to cut his hair but was 'dissuaded' by Lord Login from 'such a drastic step' until he had a 'year on probation' as a Christian.

Duleep Singh cut his hair in 1851 and he presented his long 'tress of hair,long and abundant as a woman's' to Mrs Login

(Source Alexander & Anand 1980 )

I have heard Dhadis sing that when Duleep Singh was reunited with his Mother Jind Kaur in 1863 - She touched his head in blessing and felt he had no Kesh - and cried that -It is today that Ranjit Singh has died and Today we have lost our Raj and blessings !.

Melodramatic stuff but nonetheless interesting.

Pictures from 1854 show the Maharajah with a "Comb over" - so he was balding from an early age

The picture from 1877 shows Duleep Singh aged around 40.

Duleep Singh became more interested in Sikhi as his struggles with the India Office to increase his allowance grew.

The Maharajah took Amrit at Aden 25 May 1886 - while he was 'under arrest and on parole ' - the 5 piarey being sailors and staff from ships docked at Aden. The Maharajah became "England's proud implacable foe"

however by 1886 he was back in Paris and ''apologizing all round".

(Alexander & Anand 1980)

He died in 1893 and was buried at Elveden according to Christian rites - in keeping with his wishes - alongside his wife and son .



The Graves at St Andrews Church Elveden Suffolk UK

The Memorial window in the Church - the Adoration of the Magi by Kempe - a gift to the church from the Maharaja's children in his memory



I agree Sikher the Peter Bance Book is very good - get yourself a copy !

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At the end of his life he recanted and became Christian again (a fact overlooked by Duleep Singh-o-philes) this is quite clear in his will, apologies and his meeting with QV within which she records that he was "very bald and very grey " so he obviously wasnt wearing a turban. Peter Bances book is great as is Christy Campbell's The Maharajah's Box which is a much more scholalry bio ofthe man


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by the time he was in Paris (after the ill-fated trip to Russia) he was a spent force and really on his last legs. It is very clear that the brits were pretty well fed up with him and there is no evidence to suggesttat the british poisened him. THere is some circumstantial evidence (again in Campbells book) that Duleep Singh's second wife, Ada, poisened him. Some of his children were reported to have accused her of poisening him in order to hasten his death so she coudl inherit his wealth. I doubt this very much indeed as it is clear that Ada enjoyed a good relatoinship with the kids from Duleep singh's first marriage after the death of the Maharajah and Ada was relient on DS to keep a social standing . After his passing, like most Victorian widows, she suffered social death.

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Here is an account of the meeting ,at The Grand Hotel,Grasse near Nice, France - Amandeep mentioned in his post - The last meeting between M. Duleep Singh and Queen Victoria - which describes the Maharaja's appearance -

from a letter from Queen Victoria to her daughter Vicky(Princess Royal) - 1 April 1891


*From Alexander & Anand 1980 - pg 293

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