Duleep Singh Of The Sikh Empire
|Maharajah Duleep Singh in ceremonial dress, 1861.|
|Father||Maharaja Ranjit Singh|
|Mother||Queen Jind Kaur|
|Born||6 September 1838
Lahore, Sikh Empire
|Died||22 October 1893
|Occupation||Maharaja of Sikh Empire|
Maharaja Dalip Singh, GCSI (6 September 1838, Lahore, Sikh Empire – 22 October 1893, Paris, France), 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.
Dalip Singh was much admired by Queen Victoria, who is reported to have written of the Punjabi maharajah "Those eyes and those teeth are too beautiful". The Queen was godmother to several of his children.
Today Singh is considered as Britain's first Sikh settler, having been exiled to its shores in 1854, after being dethroned and having his country annexed by the East India Company in 1849.
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