High-profile journalist and broadcaster Anita Anand tells the story of Sophia Duleep Singh in her definitive biography of this fascinating and previously unknown woman.
In 1876 Sophia Duleep Singh was born into royalty. Her father was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, a realm that stretched from the lush Kashmir Valley to the craggy foothills of the Khyber Pass and included the mighty cities of Lahore and Peshawar. It was a territory irresistible to the British, who plundered everything. Exiled to England, Sophia, god-daughter of Queen Victoria, was raised a genteel aristocratic Englishwoman. She was presented at court, afforded grace-and-favour lodgings at Hampton Court Palace and was photographed wearing the latest fashions for the society pages. But when, in secret defiance of the British government, she travelled to India, she returned a revolutionary and later joined the Suffragette movement.