Sophia Duleep Singh, Princess and Suffragete inspire children’s books

Image source, Norfolk Museums Service

The committed feminist activist Princess Sophia Duleep Singh is Princess Sophia Duleep Singh

Children’s books have immortalized the story of the Indian princess and suffragette, “extraordinary”.

Sophia Duleep Singh, a daughter to the Punjab’s last Sikh ruler, Maharajah Duleep Singh. She grew up near the Norfolk-Suffolk line in Elveden.

In the beginning of 1900s, the young princess was a pioneer in women’s rights. She risked her royal title to make history.

Sufiya Ahmad, author said that “We all can relate to this shy and determined young lady.”

The launch of her book My Story, Princess Sophia Duleep Singh for 9-13-year-olds was held at Ancient House, Norfolk. The museum, founded in 1921, by Sophia’s brother Frederick Duleep Singh.

After the British annexed his kingdom, Maharajah Duleep Singh went exile to England.

Even though he failed in his attempts to go back to India, he bought Elveden Hall with his financial compensation. This is where his family settled.

Their family was close to Queen Victoria’s friends, and she later gave them an apartment at Hampton Court Palace.

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Ms Ahmed stated that the princess was a typical Englishwoman and had “searched for meaning” in her adult life.

As a dedicated campaigner for women’s right, she was a member both of the Women’s Social and Political Unions (WSPU) and Women’s Tax Resistance League. Their slogan was “No vote, no tax”.

The protest, which became known as Black Friday, was led by Princess Sophia and Emmeline Pankhurst in 1910.

You could often see her selling The Suffragette outside of Hampton Court Palace.

‘Fierce morality’

Ms Ahmed stated that she didn’t know anything about her. She was also shocked to find a woman who was like herself.

“The people that we are taught in school we will remember the rest of their lives. For me, it was Florence Nightingale.

“I wish her story would inspire children. As a woman of color, she struggled to feel at home but decided England was the best place for her.

“She was quiet, but stylish, well-liked, and determined. “She wasn’t the loudest person in the room.”

Princess Sophia, who was 71 years old, died 22 August 1948.

Melissa Hawker (Norfolk Museums Service) said the princess was in royal protection.

She said that children love her determination to do right and they are drawn to this fierce morality.

“But her position wasn’t a one-edged sword.

“This was the princess of Punjab, Queen Victoria’s god-daughter and revolutionary fighter for equality.

She was exceptional.”

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