Victor Duleep Singh

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Crown Prince Victor Duleep Singh
Crown Prince of Punjab
Prince Victor Duleep Singh, 1897.jpg
Photograph of Victor as Emperor Akbar of India taken at the Devonshire House Ball by Alexander Bassano in 1897.[1]
Head of the Royal House of Punjab
Period 22 October 1893 – 7 July 1918
Predecessor Duleep Singh
Successor Frederick Duleep Singh
Born (1866-07-10)10 July 1866
London, England, United Kingdom
Died 7 July 1918(1918-07-07) (aged 51)
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Spouse Lady Anne Coventry (m. 1898)
Full name
Victor Albert Jay Duleep Singh
Father Duleep Singh
Mother Bamba Müller

Prince Victor Albert Jay Duleep Singh (10 July 1866 – 7 June 1918) was the eldest son of Maharani Bamba Müller and Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of Lahore, and of the Sikh Empire, and the grandson of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.[2]


Victor Duleep Singh was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge,[3] where he met Lady Anne Blanche Alice Coventry whom he would later marry. In 1887 he entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, with a special Cadetship and left it in the following December to be commissioned as Lieutenant into the 1st (Royal) Dragoons.

In 1889 Singh was stationed at Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a member of the staff of General Sir John Ross, commander of British forces in British North America. In December, he was rumoured to be engaged to marry Jeanne Turnure, daughter of Lawrence Turnure, a New York City banker, after staying at the Turnure house in Newport, Rhode Island, the previous summer; the rumour was however denied by the banker.[4] In February the following year, Singh took a three-month leave of absence from the army to meet his father in Paris, when rumours of unpaid creditors in Halifax became current for the first time.[5] He continued serve in the Royal Dragoons until he resigned his commission in 1898.[6]

On the death of his father on 23 October 1893, Singh succeeded him as Head of the Royal House of the Punjab.[7]

On 4 January 1898, Prince Victor Albert Jay Duleep Singh married Lady Anne Coventry, a daughter of George William Coventry, 9th Earl of Coventry, who was eight years younger than himself, and the marriage created a sensation. It was the first time an Indian prince had married an English noblewoman, and the marriage was made possible primarily due to the intervention of the Prince of Wales (subsequently King Edward VII). The wedding took place at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square, London, where Queen Victoria was also represented.[8]

Singh was declared bankrupt on 4 September 1902, with debts totalling £117,900, despite his £8,250 annual allowance and his wife's income of £2,500. The bankruptcy was attributed to bad investments and to gambling, something that plagued him for the rest of his life.[9]

He died, without legitimate issue, aged 51, on 7 June 1918, and was buried at the Anglican Cemetery above Monte Carlo. Beside him is the grave of his wife who died aged 82, on 2 July 1956.[10] However, it was later claimed that he was the biological father of Henry Herbert, 6th Earl of Carnarvon, thanks to an affair with Almina Carnarvon.[11]

Title, style and honours[edit]


  • 10 July 1866 – 7 July 1918: His Royal Highness Crown Prince Victor Duleep Singh of Punjab


National dynastic honours[edit]

National honours[edit]



  1. ^
  2. ^ The Kohinoor, Duleep Singh and his descendants The Tribune, 27 June 1999.
  3. ^ "Duleep-Singh, Prince Victor Albert Jay (DLP884PV)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ Unlucky Prince Duleep Singh New York Times, 2 December 1889.
  5. ^ The Indian prince has fled.; Victor Duleep Singh leaves his Halifax creditors behind in New York Times dated 15 February 1890.
  6. ^ "Service Record". Retrieved 10 August 2009. 
  7. ^ The Royal House of Punjab
  8. ^ Hindu Prince Bankrupt; Victor Duleep Singh's Marriage to Lady Anne Coventry in 1898 Caused a Sensation. New York Times, 5 September 1902.
  9. ^ Indian Prince's Bankruptcy New York Times , 19 September 1902.
  10. ^ Places to Visit Duleep Singh.
  11. ^ Christopher Wilson, Downton's greatest secret: A lonely countess, an illicit love affair with an Egyptian prince in The Daily Mail dated 21 October 2011, accessed 15 February 2014
  12. ^ a b c d , Information of members of the royal house of Punjab

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]