In the middle of the 19th century, Queen Victoria received two members of Indian royalty on English territory: King Chikka Virarajendra , who had been deposed by the British years before, and her young daughter Gouramma . He, who ruled the Coorg (Kodagu) region until 1834, wanted to contact the sovereign to request that his material goods be returned.
It was 1852 when the Indian arrived in London accompanied by his favorite daughter, then 11 years old. Exiles, life changed completely. The young woman was soon converted to Christianity . As the Time website explains, the queen fell in love with the girl and became her godmother.
The princess was then baptized by the Archbishop of Canterbury and received the same name as the sovereign, changing to being called Victoria Gouramma .
In search of a suitor
Later, in order to spread Christianity in India, the queen thought it would be feasible to marry the princess with young Duleep Singh , a deposed Maharajah from Punjab who had also recently converted to religion.
However, the union did not become official, as there was not the slightest attraction between the pair. Soon, the Indian woman fell in love with another man, Army Colonel John Campbell , who was much older than her. They were married in 1860, and the following year the couple’s only daughter, Edith, was born.
However, the union with Campbell was nowhere near a fairy tale. On the contrary, according to the Royal Parks website, the officer soon showed himself to be a gambling addict who had an interest in his young wife’s wealth .
Unhappy with her marriage, Princess Victoria Gouramma would still face a serious disease in her youth and that would be fatal: tuberculosis. She died shortly before she was 23 years old, leaving little Edith still 3 years old.
As echoed by The Better India, the British monarchist historian, Priya Atwal , wrote in an article that, since the princess was welcomed by the queen, she has gradually become increasingly overwhelmed. This was due to the “cultural shock and emotional challenges she faced as a foreigner newcomer to the Royal Family”.
The historian reinforces that the young Indian, like the other adopted godchildren of Queen Victoria , lived like a stranger in the midst of British royalty due to her skin color. “Vitória did not allow Gouramma to meet his father again, and Gouramma eventually lost the ability to speak his mother tongue. It is very cruel”, concluded the historian, who also had the speech echoed by Time’s website.