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Village to remember the prince who spent the last 17 years of his life there

PUBLISHED: 09:54 03 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:54 03 August 2016

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 died. His grave is in the churchyard. Joan Kibble is one of the organisers of the special weekend.

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 died. His grave is in the churchyard. Joan Kibble is one of the organisers of the special weekend.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016

He was the son of a deposed Indian Maharajah who grew to love his adopted counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Prince Frederick

He was born in 1868 the third son of the Maharajah of Lahore

The prince lived in several homes in Norfolk, Old Buckenham Hall, Breccles House and finally Blo’ Norton Hall

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

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

He served during the 1st World War in France with officer training away from the front line. He had been in the Suffolk and then the Norfolk Yeomanry prior to the war

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 on August, 15 1926 aged 58 following a heart attack and a stroke.

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

Prince Frederick Duleep Singh was the son of the last ruler of the Sikh empire and grew up in Elveden Estate, near Thetford, after his father was deposed in the 19th century.

The prince then spent the last 17 years of his life living in the village of Blo’ Norton, near Diss, where he died on August 15, 1926.

To mark the 90th anniversary of his death and his contribution to the region, a series of events have been planed in Blo’ Norton during the weekend of August 13 and 14 to remember “Prince Freddy”.

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.

Prince Frederick Duleep Singh in an 1897 photograph.
Photo - submitted     12 of 15
copy - Isabel Cockayne
For:  EDP /weekly
City: Thetford, Norfolk
EDP pics © 2004 tel 01603 772434Prince Frederick Duleep Singh in an 1897 photograph. Photo - submitted 12 of 15 copy - Isabel Cockayne For: EDP /weekly City: Thetford, Norfolk EDP pics © 2004 tel 01603 772434

On the Saturday, at 2pm, the Sikh biographer of the Duleep Singhs, Peter Bance, will give a talk in the church and the next day, at 2pm, there will be a talk on the prince by Geoffrey Leigh in the village hall.

Prince Frederick lived in Blo’ Norton Hall from 1909 to 1926.

The prince was born in London in 1868.

His father Maharaja Duleep Singh bought the Elveden Estate in 1863 and lived the life of a country gentleman with a taste for the finer things in life.

The Maharajah, who came to the throne of the Punjab, aged five, in 1843, ended up living in Suffolk after he had been effectively exiled to England in 1854 following two wars.

Joan Kibble, one of the event’s organisers, said: “The commemorative exhibitions and talks celebrate the life of someone who endeared himself to the village community.”

The talk by Mr Bance on Saturday, August 13 at 2pm is by ticket only. Call Joan Kibble 01953 681396.

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