If you take the film Suffragette on face value, it might seem as if
the only people campaigning for Votes For Women were white and
heterosexual. But that wasn't the case.
Daughter of the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire,
Princess Catherine Duleep Singh (1871-1942) was a member of the
Fawcett Women's Suffrage Group, the National Union of Women's
Suffrage Societies and, like her sister Sophia, considered herself
Although she never used the word lesbian to describe
herself, Catherine lived her entire life with Lina Schaeffer, her
former governess 12 years her senior, who she lived without
Neither Sophia, god daughter of Queen Victoria, or
Catherine's other sister Bamba, both pictured here with Catherine,
were critical of this "intimate" relationship, and Catherine
appreciated this tolerance from her family.
Anita Anand, author of Sophia: Princess, Suffragette,
Revolutionary explains: "Not even World War One would
separate them and Catherine risked being branded a traitor by
staying with Lina.
"When she died, her last surviving sister took her
ashes to Germany so that they could be placed with Lina's
Find out more about the Catherine, Sophia and the
Duleep Singh family in Anand's book. Click here for more information.
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