Royal Mail to issue a stamp of 'revolutionary' princess Sophia Duleep Singh to honour Suffragettes
By Barfi Culture Team
12th January 2018

The Royal Mail will issue a stamp next month featuring Sophia Duleep Singh to mark 100 years since women, albeit over the age of 30, were allowed to vote in the UK.

The announcement was made by City Sikhs, who called it "fantastic" news.

It is the first time a person of Sikh background has been featured on a Royal Mail stamp (she was born a Christian and died identifying as one too).

Sophia was the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh and granddaughter of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the leader of the Sikh empire. She was born in England, in exile, after her father settled there.

But after she secretly travelled to India, defying the wishes of the British government, she came back a revolutionary.

This is how author and broadcaster Anita Anand, who wrote a book on Sophia, describes her transformation: "Sophia transcended her heritage to devote herself to battling injustice and inequality, a far cry from the life to which she was born."

"Her causes were the struggle for Indian independence, the fate of the Lascars (Indian soldiers or sailors), the welfare of Indian soldiers in the First World War – and, above all, the fight for female suffrage. She was bold and fearless, attacking politicians, putting herself in the front line and swapping her silks for a nurse's uniform to tend wounded soldiers evacuated from the battlefields."

Sophia was the youngest of Duleep Singh's six children from his first marriage.

According to Anita Anand, when Sophia was asked to list her 'interests' late in her life, she wrote, "The advancement of women".

Royal Mail told Barfi Culture this morning the stamp would be released on 15th February 2018.

City Sikhs confirmed the image above would be the official design.

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