Princess Sophia Duleep Singh blue plaque unveiled

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh's blue plaque at her apartment in London.
Princess Sophia Duleep Singh's blue plaque at her apartment in London.

A new blue plaque has been unveiled in memory of a courageous Indian princess with known links to Suffolk and Norfolk who fought for women’s rights.

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was the daughter of the last ruler of the Sikh empire and goddaughter to Queen Victoria.

The Duleep Singh family left a lasting legacy in Norfolk and Suffolk after moving to England in the 1840s.

The family bought the Elvedon Estate, near Thetford, and for the next century the family continued to live in the region, including at Old Buckenham, Hockwold, Blo’ Norton, Breckles, and Walcott.

At a ceremony at the princess’s former London home of Faraday House, Hampton Court, a blue plaque has been put up in her honour.

Anita Anand, author of Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, told the PA news agency: “We owe Sophia such a debt of gratitude because without her courage and the courage of women like her you can’t take it for granted that we would have the right to vote in this country.

“She was one of those bloody-minded women who never do what they are supposed to do.

“Women’s history falls through the cracks and women of colour plummet through them.

“Her fortitude is something that should not be forgotten, and it is only right that we should see it in a plaque so that young girls when they walk past might ask, ‘who was she?’.”

Attending the ceremony was Bend it Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha, actress Meera Syal, Professor Helen Pankhurst and Lord Singh.

The princess was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and was influential in the group’s ‘Black Friday’ movement which saw members of the suffragette movement take to Parliament on November 18, 1910 as part of their campaign for Votes for Women.