Sophia Duleep Singh

1876 – 1948

Sophia by Beverley Andrews

Sophia was written by Beverley Andrews and recorded live in June 2018 at South Hill Park Arts Centre. This episode was directed and produced by Rebecca Alloway. The Composer and Musician was Anna Clock. Sophia Duleep Singh was played by Theresa Godly. Annie was played by Rosie Cunnew. Irene was played by Eleanor Bailey. Sally was played by Georgina Stone. Maharaja Duleep Singh was played by Zaki Sadiki. Rani Jindan and Bamba Duleep Singh was played by Simran Kular. Queen Victoria was played by Stefy Barton. Lady in Waiting and Emmeline Pankhurst was played by Bethany Monk-Lane. Lord Curzon was played by Robert Twaddle. Lady Colley and Una was played by Becky Kerly. Mrs Cupellers was played by Phoebe Jones. Winston Churchill and policeman was played by James Short.

Born in Suffolk, Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was the third daughter of the Maharaja Duleep Singh and his wife Bamba Muller. The Maharaja had abdicated his kingdom to the British age eleven. He was then exiled from India by the British so moved to England. Once in England he was provided for by Queen Victoria. He met Bamba whilst in Egypt and they married in 1864. They had ten children, of whom six survived. Bamba died from Typhoid when Sophia was ten years old.

During Sophia’s adolescence and early adulthood, she was encouraged by her Godmother Queen Victoria to be become a socialite. ¬† She studying Chemistry at Cambridge and bred championship dogs. She become involved with the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and campaigned for women’s right to vote. She was a key figure in the demonstration on ‘Black Friday’ (1910) against parliament. Sophia also was an activist for the Women’s Tax Resistance League, there slogan was ‘No Vote, no tax’. She is quoted as saying: “When the women of England are enfranchised and the State acknowledges me as a citizen I shall, of course, pay my share willingly to its upkeep”.

She was often seen outside of Hampton Court selling the newspaper The Suffragette.

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