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ACS DB Duleep Singh

Date of Birth: 6 September 1838.

The youngest son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Duleep became the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire at the age of five. When I was five I could barely tie my shoelaces. But it was for the worst of reasons - after four of his predecessors were assassinated (just not by, you know, Assassins).

His mother, the Maharani Jind Kaur, briefly ruled as Regent, but after the First Anglo-Sikh War she was imprisoned. Duleep would not see his mother again for over thirteen years. In April of 1849, Duleep Singh, age ten, was placed in the care of Dr. John Login, who did not invent logins, and at age fifteen he was exiled to Britain.

It was in England that he was befriended by Queen Victoria who went on to become the godmother to several of Duleep's children. But Duleep never forgot his real mother, and in 1856 he attempted to contact her. His correspondence and emissaries were intercepted by the British in India. However, he persisted and, with help from Login, was allowed to meet her in January of 1861.

The Maharani was deemed no longer a threat to the British interests in India and allowed to return with Duleep to the United Kingdom. In the two years before she died, she taught her son about his Sikh heritage. Duleep would spend the rest of his life attempting to return there.

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