Prince Victor Albert Jay Duleep Singh
Prince Victor was Maharajah Duleep Singh’s eldest son, born on the 10 July 1866. As a young man Prince Victor Duleep Singh studied in Eton[i] before beginning his higher education at Cambridge University where he met his first and true love, Lady Anne Blanche Alice of Coventry, his good friend George’s sister. Family matters took their toll and Prince Victor with his younger brothers and sisters was brushed off to India via Aden. In a confidential memorandum, dated 11 February 1886, W.M.Young the secretary to the Punjab Government wrote to the Foreign Secretary in India, H.M. Durand, that one of the reasons Duleep Singh was coming to India was to arrange the marriage of his eldest children. Prince Victor felt distraught; he never quite understood his father or his quarrels with the British Government. On the P & O en-route to India, he openly objected to his father’s proceedings, and spoke of him as ‘my idiotic father’.[ii]On his relieved journey back to England in 1886, the children settled at their London residence at Holland Park with their mother, Maharani Bamba. The following year Prince Victor joined the Royal Military Academy, getting a special cadet-ship. The children of Indian extraction were disqualified by parentage from the army under the existing rules, but Queen Victoria bent the rules for her godson. Prince Victor scraped through two terms at Sandhurst, his place in order of 155 in the merit list. He left Sandhurst the following December and was made a Lieutenant in the 1st Dragoon Guards. He was honourable A.D.C. to Halifax, and was promoted to Captain in 1894, but his military career, however, was a shamble, his interest lied in other things and he resigned in 1898. During the First World War, he was ordered to remain in Paris and not to leave, but shortly after the war ended, Prince Victor died on the 7 June 1918, without any issue.
[i] At Eton there is a small garden dedicated to the memory of Prince Victor Duleep Singh
[ii] Singh, Maharajah Duleep Singh Correspondence, p. 301