Sophia – Review – The Tribune, India – Shyam Bhatia

Sophia Dalip Singh’s conversion to the cause of Indian nationalism is detailed in a new book about the Punjabi princess who discovered and embraced her heritage more than a decade after her father’s death. Princess Sophia was the fifth child of Maharaja Dalip Singh, last ruler of independent Punjab who was forced to give up the fabled Kohinoor diamond to the British, and a goddaughter of Queen Victoria. Born in 1876 in England, she was only 17 when her father died in a Paris hotel room. Until recently, not much attention has been paid to Sophia, first a shy introvert, then a dazzling debutante at the English royal court and finally a militant in the suffragette movement…

a new book by broadcast journalist Anita Anand, entitled, “Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary”, argues that this daughter of Dalip Singh was a revolutionary through and through and has been unjustly overlooked by historians. In an exclusive interview with The Tribune, Anand explains that until 1903 Sophia was a classic Victorian society woman who made her debut at Buckingham Palace where she had to curtsy, bend and kiss her godmother, the Queen.