Maharajah Duleep Singh's Equestrian statue in Thetford, England

Maharajah Duleep Singh,Tretford, England

Maharajah Duleep Singh,Tretford, England

Above image:  Bronze statue of the Maharajah Duleep Singh, (birth: Lahore, Sikh Empire 1838 - death: Paris 1893; the last Maharajah of the Sikh Empire. Thetford, Norfolk, East of England. Butten Island. Sculptor:  Denise Dutton, British sculptress. Year of creation:1999.
 The Maharajah in royal regalia is represented in contemporary Sikh ceremonial dress sitting upright on a life-size horse with replica saddle and bridle. The pedestal is in a decorative dark granite inlaid on all four sides with detailed inscriptions in gold incorporating both British and Sikh symbolism. The Khanda emblem is represented with the text "deg teg fateh" (Sikh saying which literally means victory (fateh) to kettle (deg) and sword (tegh)) on the small sides of the pedestal. The centenary coat of arms - with the name 1893-1993 Maharajah Duleep singh centenary, picked out in gold, red, blue and yellow is above the text on the broad sides of the pedestal. ..............

Maharaja Duleep Singh, GCSI (6 September 1838 – 22 October 1893), also known as Dalip Singh was the last Maharajah of the Sikh Empire. Youngest son of  Maharajah Ranjit Singh he was  the only child of Maharani Jind Kaur.

Circumstances forced him to become the legal-heir of his kingdom in 1843  at a very young age of five  with four of his predecessors having been assassinated. Duleep was proclaimed the Maharajah of the Sikh Empire with his mother as Regent. After the Angelo-Sikh war on 13 December 1845, Duleep became the nominal head. After the second Angelo-Sikh war in March 1849, he was deposed at the age of  ten. The British government wanted the young ruler to become anglicized and put him under the care of Dr John Login.  

The young Indian prince became a Christian convert (it was highly criticized by the public) and exiled to Britain at age 15  (in 1854) where he  won the admiration Queen Victoria  and other family members. Ultimately  the Queen was godmother to several of his children.  Queen Victoria, once reported to have written of the Punjabi Maharajah: "Those eyes and those teeth are too beautiful" as the young prince was handsome and charismatic. The prince was well taken care by the English royal family.

Back in India, in Duleep's absence, his mother became a Regent and  efficiently ruled Punjab when it was a princely state during the colonial rule in India. AS stated earlier, in 1846, after the First Anglo-Sikh War, she was replaced by a British Resident and imprisoned  and exiled by the British. Duleep's mother was not allowed to see him for 13 years.  At last Duleep met his mother in Calcutta at Spence Hotel in January 1861 and later returned   to England with her.  During the last two years of her life, his mother told the Maharajah about the virtues of his Sikh heritage and culture  and the Empire which once had been his to rule. 

Duleep longing to get back to his roots, wanted to get converted back to Sikism, much to the annoyance of the British authorities. In 1886, he was prevented from returning to India and  changing his religion back to Sikism. Mind you, he became a Christian convert when he was too young in the 1850s with the knowledge of  Gov. General Lord Dalhousie. During his stay in England he did live a lavish life in 1860s and, at last, his vast estate 17000 acres of a well-preserved game area at Elveden, close to Thetford. He converted his residence there into  a palatial palace and lived like a British Aristocrat.  Yeras later, his entire estate  was sold to repay his debts.  In1893, Duleep Singh died in Paris at the age

Kohinoor diamond and  Indian prince Duleep singhOwlcation
Above image; Young prince of Punjab Duleep Singh and Kohinoor diamond taken away from his father's kingdom after the second Angelo-Sikh war. Mind you, it was a forced gift (vide: the 1849 Treaty of Lahore). Lord Dalhousie’s Secretary, Sir Henry Elliott, went  to Lahore at the end of the war, and  told Duleep Singh and his courtiers that they must  sign away the kingdom without hesitation, or face much harsher consequences. Besides Kohinoor, Timur Ruby (largest one in the world) was also taken away by the British.................

of 55. Though a rich  Indian prince, it took a while for him to know that his father's kingdom was  dishonestly seized by the British. He saw India twice after  the age of fifteen . They were  two brief and  tightly-controlled visits in 1860 (to bring his mother to England) and in 1863 (to cremate his mother's body).
The British refused to return Duleep's body to India fearing that it might cause resentment and unrest, given the  exalted status of Duleep, the son of  the Lion of the Punjab. His funeral  must be symbolic of his status, befitting the son a great ruler of Punjab. Yet another black mark was the Sikh ruler was converted to Christianity against the wish of the royal family members and others. At this point of time, the colonial rule in India was beginning to lose its sheen as the British were oppressing the Indian natives and exploiting their resources.