First, a bit of background. Chikka Veera Rajendra of Coorg rebelled against the British for some reasons. He was deposed and Coorg was annexed to the ever growing East India Company domains. The king was exiled to Benares and he moved to England in 1852, making him the first Indian deposed to settle in UK, the condition being his daughter will be brought up as a Christian and will be educaated in the western way. We don’t know what happened, but, Gowramma, the daughter of Veera Rajendra born in 1841, was presented before Queen Victoria of Britain and she took a fancy to this girl. She made herself the girl’s godmother and rechristened her Victoria Gowramma after her. As it looks, the queen took fancy for another deposed royal, Duleep Singh of Punjab, who was again converted to Christianity and thought of marrying off both of them with the intention that more Indian rulers will convert to Christianity, seeing the royal couple. But, the marriage didnot happen, and she married a fifty year Indian career soldier, John Campbell. It seems he married her only for her money and when she died, he disappeared along with the crown jewels of Coorg. She died of Tuberculosis at the age of twenty three and left a daughter, aptly named Edith Victoria Gowramma Campbell.

Below are two pictures of the princess, the left one taken for her baptism, considered ugly due to all the oriental gaudiness and the other, a serene, beautiful Victorian image. Or am I hallucinating here? For I see a beautiful young lady in the left and a forlorn looking ghost in white on the right.

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And a crop of the faces. Compare the interesting headgear with the unkempt hair and the full eyes with blank stare into no where

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