History's HEROES? 1876 - 1948

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh

Who was she?

Things you may not know about Princess Sophia Duleep Singh

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh had Indian, European and African ancestry. More
Her father presented Queen Victoria with the famous Koh-i-noor diamond. More
Sophia was given a house by the queen. More
She had keys to a Royal palace. More
Princess Sophia was seen as something of a fashion icon. More
She showed dogs and won prizes. More
She was a very English Indian. More
She was a newspaper delivery girl for the paper - The Suffragette. More
Sophia became an active tax resister. More
Sophia Duleep Singh was a princess with a criminal record. More
Sophia befriended Indian sailors in London. More
Sophia worked as a nurse and was a friend to wounded soldiers. More
She became a fundraiser for the Indian troops. More

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh in brief

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?

Princess Sophia Jindan Alexdrowna Duleep Singh was the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. He had been deposed from his throne at the age of 11 and exiled to Britain two years later. He became a great favourite of the royal family and Princess Sophia was brought up among the British aristocracy. Queen Victoria was her godmother.

She could have had an easy life and could have spent her time enjoying luxury, including foreign travel. However, Sophia decided to become involved in the movement for Women's Suffrage (being allowed to vote). She attended meetings and joined in demonstrations, including the famous Black Monday demonstration when the Suffragettes clashed with the police and many were injured. She joined the Women's Tax Resistance League, this led her into court, twice, having the bailiffs visit her house and take her belongings. She also went out on the streets, giving out leaflets, alongside her fellow suffragettes.

After the war she joined the Suffragette Fellowship led by Mrs Pankhurst. Sophia was a very active campaigner. After Mrs Pankhurst's death in 1928, she was appointed President of the Committee. The Princess Sophia remained a member of the Suffragette Fellowship to the end of her life.

Picture Gallery Sophia Duleep Singh

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