Monday, 30th October 2017

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Royal Mail stamp on Indian princess

An Indian princess is getting the ultimate stamp of approval on Tuesday from Royal Mail of the UK which is honouring the suffragette movement and the 100th anniversary to the day of votes for some women.

By Amit Roy in London
  • Published 6.02.18
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The stamp showing Princess Sophia Duleep Singh

London: An Indian princess is getting the ultimate stamp of approval on Tuesday from Royal Mail of the UK which is honouring the suffragette movement and the 100th anniversary to the day of votes for some women.

Royal Mail is releasing eight special stamps, mostly showing the leading lights of the suffragette movement in groups.

But only one woman merits a stamp all to herself - Princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh (August 8 1876-August 22 1948), the daughter of Maharajah Duleep Singh.

The image shows Sophia "selling copies of the WSPU newspaper The Suffragette in April 1913. A member of the Women's Tax Resistance League, (whose official motto was 'No Taxation Without Representation'), the princess appeared in court on several occasions after refusing to pay taxes."

Her role in the suffragette movement was somewhat overlooked until a couple of years ago when the BBC journalist Anita Anand came across the image in a magazine, pursued the story of the "Asian woman" behind the picture and wrote a book, Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary.

Anita told The Telegraph: "Sophia has a stamp all to herself. And it is a massive honour - nobody knew who she was to she gets her own stamp. Completely thrilling. I am over the moon."

Duleep was exiled to England as a small boy after the capture of the Punjab by Governor-General Lord Dalhousie and he "gifted" the Koh-i-Noor diamond to Queen Victoria. Sophia's mother was Maharani Bamba Müller, and her godmother was Victoria.

On February 6, 1918, the UK Parliament passed the Representation of the People Act.