Maharaja Dalip Singh and Queen Victoria
Maharaja Dalip Singh’s contact with Queen Victoria began at the age of 15 while he was in exile, in Britain. Research Reference and Training Division, (RRTD) (2001) indicates the Queen had written about Dalip Singh as a person with beautiful eyes and white teeth that looked very beautiful. Therefore, upon his arrival to London, the Queen showered him with lots of affection and admiration. During his first days, the Punjab was accommodated at Claridge’s Hotel, then to a house in Wimbledon, and later moving to Roehampton where he stayed for three years. The Queen also invited him at Osborne to stay with the Royal Family. Consequently, the Queen befriended the Maharaja, admiring him a lot in many ways. Besides, literature indicates that the Queen was a godmother to several of Dalip’s children (Dilgeer, 2009). The Queen even sketched Dalip once, while he was playing with her Children.
Maharaja Dalip Singh and His Family
In 1860, Dalip was allowed to return to India. He decided to take the mother, Maharani Jind Kaur, her back to England (Dilgeer, 2009). Her mother had been in political exile in Nepal (RRTD, 2001). His mother, though died later in 1863, in England. Dalip married twice and had eight children in his lifetime. Bamba Muller, whom together they had six children was his first wife. Ada Douglas, his second wife, bore him two children. Sadly, all his eight children died devoid of any legitimate issue, technically ending the Sikh’s Royalty direct line. Eton College, England, established a memorial for the commemoration of Princes Frederick and Victor, Dalip’s sons, who studied at an institution in the 1870s. The Queen and Dalip reconciled their differences before his death. Therefore, out of loyalty to his first wife, Maharani Bamba, the queen declined to receive Ada, the second wife, claiming that she had been involved with Dalip before Bamba’s death in 1887 (RRTD, 2001).
Maharaja Dalip Singh and His return to Sikhism
While exiled in Britain, Dalip Singh sought to advance his knowledge by learning more about Sikhism. His findings increased his eagerness to return to his ancestry land, India. Dalip’s cousin, Thakar Singh, helped him to bring several properties to India in preparation for a welcoming ceremony. The situation created an even deeper reconnection with Sikhism. This event followed a granted permission by the Queen to allow him return to his country for a visit. Nevertheless, the British opposed his return to India as well as re-embracing of Sikhism (Dilgeer, 2009). However, this did not detour Dalip from embarking on a tour of Europe and later setting out to return to India. Unluckily, while sailing back to India, he was intercepted in Aden. While there, the writ of India General Governor began an informal reconversion to Sikhism ceremony done. This event was, though, less ceremonious in comparison to what could have taken place in India.
Maharaja Dalip Singh and His Attempts to Throw the British out of India
Dalip Singh was fed up with British political ideologies and their ruling of India. Therefore, he tried on several occasions, though unsuccessfully, to return to India and rescue his people. In addition, he wrote several letters to India, proclaiming that he was the sovereign ruler. In his letters, Dalip urged his people to take heart and strive on with the hope that he would return and rescue them. His attempt to sail to back to India in 1886, led to his interception and arrest in Aden, thwarting his motives (Dilgeer, 2009). Consequently, Dalip died a disillusioned man, in 1853, Paris, with all of his children dying without legitimate issues, ending his descendants’ lineage.
Dilgeer Harjinder, S. Sikh History in 10 Volumes. Belgium: Sikh University Press. 2009. Print
Research Reference and Training (RRTD). Biography: Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Vol. No. XLIV 16 February 2001 B. No.32 (27 Magha 1922). 2001. Web. 15 Jan. 2001.