DCSIMG

Museum tribute to first Indian prince of Scotland

An illustration of the dethroning of Maharaja Duleep Singh

An illustration of the dethroning of Maharaja Duleep Singh

  • by BRIAN FERGUSON
 

The National Museum of Scotland is to stage a major tribute to a young Indian prince who became the first Sikh to settle in Britain and a close friend of Queen Victoria.

The life and legacy of Maharaja Duleep Singh – who was known as the Black Prince of Perthshire because of the lavish castle he stayed in – will chart how he came to Britain at the age of 13 when he was dethroned.

The Edinburgh-based museum’s show next year, which will feature a host of the prince’s jewellery and other personal objects, is one of a series of international exhibitions being staged by the museum to coincide with Scotland’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games and the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

The prince, who was the son of the legendary “Lion of the Punjab”, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, came to the throne when just five years of age, but was deposed when he was 11 after it was annexed by the East India Company, separated from his mother and sent to England.The exhibition will chart his friendship with Queen Victoria, who treated him as an adopted prince and allowed him the run of Buckingham Palace as a youngster.

It is also expected to recall how the first Indian prince to visit Scotland became a local celebrity after setting up home at Castle Menzies, in Aberfeldy.

The Maharaja Duleep Singh exhibition is expected to run at the museum from next October until January 2015.

 

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