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Prince Victor Edward Duleep Singh


Maharajah Duleep Singh had three sons. The eldest Prince Victor was born on the 10 July 1866, followed by Prince Frederick in 1868, and then Prince Albert Edward Alexander Duleep Singh, who was born on the 20 August 1879. Prince Albert Edward was the youngest of all the Maharajah’s six children with Maharani Bamba, and was affectionately called ‘Edward’.

Prince Albert Edward Duleep Singh

After his mother’s death, the youngest son Prince Edward and his sisters were removed and placed under the care of Mr and Mrs Arthur Oliphant at 21 Clifton Street, Folkestone, whose father had been the Maharajah’s equerry at Elveden. Prince Edward became awfully lonely, his father had deserted him at a tender age and his mother had passed away.‘He is a hard worker and a most excellent boy’.But a few weeks later he contracted pneumonia. He was due to go to Eton in April.  Although Prince Edward showed some improvement, the doctors said there was no chance of him going to Eton. In late April his condition became worse, the tubercular swellings in his stomach would not subside. At the time, his brothers had gone over to France to visit the equally ill Maharajah who had suffered a heart attack.

On the 21 April 1893, Prince Victor brought the Maharajah back from Paris to see the fragile little Prince Edward. The Maharajah made his emotional trip back to the shores of England and spent the weekend at a hotel in Hastings. The Maharajah was overjoyed to see his little boy, but was prevented by Prince Victor from his loud crying and bitter weeping. Before leaving he gave Prince Edward a piece of paper on which he wrote: ‘The Lord is my shepherd’. He kissed his little son and returned to Paris on the 24 April. A week later Prince Edward died. He was only thirteen-years-old.

Dalip Singh died in Paris in 1893 at the age of 55, having seen India after the age of fifteen only during two brief, tightly-controlled visits in 1860 (to bring his mother to England) and in 1863 (to scatter his mother's ashes).

Dalip Singh's wish for his body to be returned to India was not honoured, in fear of unrest, given the symbolic value the funeral of the son of the Lion of the Punjab might have caused, given growing resentment of British rule. His body was brought back to be buried according to Christian rites, under the supervision of the India Office in Elveden Church beside the grave of his wife Maharani Bamba, and his son Prince Edward Albert Duleep Singh. The graves are located on the west side of the Church.