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Princess Shajaar Ara of Murshidabad (15.8.1926 - 27.12.2000) was a direct descendant of the Royal House of Murshidabad, her ancestors were the Nawab Nizams of Bengal. She was the grand daughter of the Nawab Bahadur Wasef Ali of Murshidabad Amir-ul-Omrah K.C.S.I, K.C.V.O, G.C.S.I, G.C.V.O, and the daughter of Nawab Bahadur Waresh Ali of Murshibdabad Amir-ul-Omrah. The Princess’ father at the age of eleven was one of the Princely Royal pages to their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary at the Delhi Durbar of 1911. Her uncle was the first President of Pakistan, the late General Iskander Mirza. Her ancestor, the Nawab of Bengal in 1757 presented to Admiral Charles Watson a turban jewel and ivory gilt furniture was presented to Warren Hastings and his wife Mary. In 1851 a Golden Elephant Howdah was presented to Queen Victoria, the turban jewel and ivory gilt furniture are now on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The history and treasures of the Royal rulers of Bengal, Murshidabad and gifts are written and illustrated in the Arts of India book 1550-1900.

The Princess was born and educated in India, and moved to London in 1961. She involved herself in numerous charities, fundraising for UNICEF and Anti-Slavery International and Marie Curie Cancer Care. She was Vice President of the English Speaking Union for South East Asia, a member of the Royal Society of St. George and of the European-Atlantic Group. She as also a patron of the Russian Orphans Organization, the ASHA Foundation and The Voice.


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