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Fredric Duleep Singh -son of Maharaja Duleep Singh (1871-1926)

Fredrick Duleep Singh was a younger son of Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. He was the most talented of all the Princes. He went to Cambridge, done MA  in history and was the member of the Pitt Club of Cambridge University. He was a keen collector of old books, coins, stained glass, and other artifacts. He was a kind-hearted man and became very popular in his County as the ‘Black Prince’. He was historian, archaeologist, philanthropist and a great lover of music. He was keen to promote the legacy of Maharaja Duleep Singh. Keeping this in view, he donated all his art collection to set up the Ancient House Museum in Thetford, which is a living testimony to the family of Maharaja.    He was deeply interested in archaeology, contributing articles to various periodicals and became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He gave to the town of Thetford the timber-framed Ancient House, now a museum, together with his collection of portraits.

He wrote a book in two volumes Portraits in Norfolk Houses. He was East Anglia representative of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and reported on about 50 historic building cases for it.

 A keen collector, archaeologist, and historian he wrote articles for seven Norfolk publications.

 It was claimed that Prince Freddy was the biological father of an illegitimate son (born in 1888) after having an affair with Miss Goddard, a serving maid at  Breckles Hall in Norfolk where he lived.

Prince Frederick served with Suffolk Imperial  Yeomanry  regiments 1893-1919 and promoted to the rank of Captain within five years,

In July 1901 Prince Frederick transferred to the Norfolk Yeomanry from the Suffolk Yeomanry and was promoted to the rank of major. He resigned his commission in 1909 but rejoined the Norfolk Yeomanry in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I and was on active service in France for two years.

He was the Member of the Royal Victorian Order, 1901 He bestowed with United Kingdom National Honors during his services and was the recipient of many medals The Territorial Medal, The 1914 Star Medal, The Victory Medal, THe King Edward VII Coronation Medal, and The King George V Coronation Medal.

He enjoyed the titles and National Dynastic Honors,”  His Royal Highness Prince Frederick Duleep Singh of Punjab given him on 23 January 1868 – 7 July 1918 and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederick Duleep Singh of Punjab on  7 July 1918 – 15 August 1926:

He was the vice-president for the Suffolk Institute of Archeology and Natural History and the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

He was an ardent Jacobite – a supporter of the Stuart cause – and collected memorabilia associated with that cause which later was given to Inverness Museum

He lived his last 17 years in several homes in Norfolk, Old Buckingham Hall, Breccles House and finally Blo’ Norton Hall

Prince Frederick spent time in creating gardens within the moated site at Blo’ Norton Hall and had a folly built which looked like a Greek Temple at the end of a long avenue of lime trees

Every year in Blo’ Norton held a summer garden party for the village to which everyone was invited and was instrumental in building its war memorial

.He died at Blo’ Norton on August 15, 1926, at the age of 55 following a heart attack and a stroke. His grave is in the churchyard. His three sisters also lived in the village from time to time and continued to have a connection right up to the death of Princess Bamba in 1957.

The prince never visited the Punjab or India to see where his family once ruled Prince Fredrick people called him Prince Freddy with love and affection who grew to love his adopted counties of Norfolk and Suffolk”. The anniversary of the death of Prince Frederick Duleep Singh is being marked with various events in the village of Blo Norton where he lived and spent his last 17 years of his life.

On his anniversary there were Headlines in the newspaper Eastern Daily Press-Celebrator.On yearly event at Thetford’s Ancient House Museum mark’s 150th birthday of Prince Frederick Duleep Singh _ a prince who dedicated much of his life to preserving the heritage of Norfolk and Suffolk.

 “Over the weekend there will be a display in the village hall and an Indian-themed flower festival in the village church, where the prince is buried.”

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Nirmal Anand

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