Director Kavi Raaz’s upcoming film, The Black Prince received a thunderous response at its London premiere however, not much is known about the protagonist, Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last King of The Sikh Empire and Raz’s film is the truest projection of his tragic life.
While most people know Maharaja Duleep Singh as a quintessential English country gentleman, having closest terms with Queen Victoria, not many know that his life was rather tragic.
He was born to a Sikh family, to rule as a king, but died as a pauper. After the assassination of his four predecessors, Maharaja Duleep Singh came into power at a tender age of five. Later, he was dethroned and exiled from his own kingdom and forcefully separated from his mother. He also had to relinquish his Sikh religion to become a Christian.
He met his mother Maharani Jindan Kaur after 13 years and during the last two years of her life, she told him about the rich Sikh heritage he belonged to, and the kingdom which he was supposed to rule.
All his life, he struggled to regain his true identity and revolted against the British for the freedom of his kingdom, which was conquered by them. He breathed his last in Paris in 1893. His wish for his body to be returned to India was not honored as they feared that it would cause agitation, given the symbolic value of the funeral of the son of Sher-e-Punjab.