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Suffragette Indian princess Sophia Duleep Singh honoured with blue plaque

Notably, she was a goddaughter of Queen Victoria and belonged to the Punjabi royal family

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh – Image Credit: The BBC

By: easterneye.biz Staff

The former residence of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, an influential suffragette Indian princess, has been commemorated with the unveiling of a blue plaque in south-west London, the BBC reported.

Princess Sophia, a prominent member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) led by Emmeline Pankhurst, held a significant role in the suffragette movement.

Notably, she was a goddaughter of Queen Victoria and belonged to the Punjabi royal family.

A ceremony took place on Friday (26) at Sophia’s former home, Faraday House in Hampton Court, and was attended by esteemed guests including actress Meera Syal and Prof Helen Pankhurst.

GettyImages 1258171728 2
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 26: A new blue plaque is pictured after its unveiling at a house once inhabited by Princess Sophia Duleep Singh on May 26, 2023 in London, England. Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was a suffragette and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria. She moved to the UK from Punjab when her father, the last Maharajah of the region, was exiled. She was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), becoming a prominent member of the Richmond and Kingston-upon-Thames district branches, fighting for women’s rights and suffrage. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The Blue plaque serves as a testament to Princess Sophia’s remarkable contributions to the suffragette movement and her enduring legacy as an influential figure in women’s rights activism.

Sophia, born and raised in Elveden on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, later relocated to Faraday House in 1896, a luxurious apartment granted to her by Queen Victoria.

As an influential member of the WSPU, she utilised her privileged status and resources to actively advocate for women’s suffrage.

Starting in 1909, Sophia played an active role in the WSPU’s Richmond and Kingston district branches.

Outside Hampton Court Palace, she would sell copies of The Suffragette newspaper, leveraging her position to promote the cause.

Sophia also actively participated in the notable events of “Black Friday” in 1910, joining forces with over 300 suffragettes, including Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Pankhurst.

They marched to Parliament Square and courageously demanded an audience with the prime minister, making a powerful statement in their pursuit of women’s rights.

Sophia’s involvement in this significant protest further demonstrated her dedication to the suffragette cause and her unwavering commitment to achieving equality.

In addition to her activism for women’s suffrage, Sophia extended her support to various causes.

She played an instrumental role in the Indian Women’s Education Association in London, actively working towards promoting education for Indian women.

During World War One, she selflessly served as a nurse, providing care to Indian soldiers. In another act of generosity, Sophia opened her home to accommodate evacuees during the tumultuous period of World War Two.

Anita Anand, a journalist, and the author of a biography chronicling the life of Princess Sophia, expressed deep appreciation for Sophia and acknowledged the debt of gratitude owed to her for paving the way for the fundamental democratic right of suffrage, and shaping the course of history.

 

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