Sovereign, Squire & Rebel Maharajah Duleep Singh by Peter Bance

Sovereign, Squire & Rebel Maharajah Duleep Singh by Peter Bance

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At the age of five years, Maharajah Duleep Singh found himself on the golden throne of the Punjab, the `land of five rivers', one of the most powerful independent Kingdoms in the Asian sub-continent and a thorn in the advancement of the British Empire.

A country built by his father, the legendary one-eyed Lion-of-the-Punjab, Ranjit Singh, who was a contemporary of Napoleon, and who ruled the region by the power of his sword and with the fear of his name. The infant Maharajah Duleep Singh had much to live up to, although he found the enemies of his reign were not just from over the British-Sutlej border. 

After the Anglo-Sikhs Wars, Maharajah Duleep Singh, still a minor, was separated from his mother, surrendered the famed Koh-i-noor diamond and was removed from power by the underhand-means of the East India Company. Effectively exiled to Britain, he became an instant favourite of Queen Victoria and an exotic party accessory. He passed his time with the crème de la crème of Victorian high society; shooting game with the Prince of Wales in his very own Indian Palace in Suffolk's Elveden Hall and leading a most extravagant and lavish lifestyle.

But after trying his hand at writing a West End play, standing for parliament, playing the field, and remonstrating with the British Government for the shortfall of his stipend, the deposed sovereign became disillusioned by his surroundings and sought to make a stand against the tyrannical establishment!

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