Maharani Jind Kaur
Maharani Jind Kaur (1817 – 1 August 1863) was regent of the Sikh Empire from 1843 until 1846. She was the youngest wife of the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, Ranjit Singh, and the mother of the last Maharaja, Duleep Singh. She was renowned for her beauty, energy and strength of purpose and was popularly known as Rani Jindan, but her fame is derived chiefly from the fear she engendered in the British in India, who described her as “the Messalina of the Punjab”, a seductress too rebellious to be controlled.
After the assassinations of Ranjit Singh’s first three successors, Duleep Singh came to power in September 1843 at the age of 5 and Jind Kaur became Regent on her son’s behalf. After the Sikhs lost the First Anglo-Sikh War she was replaced in December 1846 by a Council of Regency, under the control of a British Resident. However, her power and influence continued and, to counter this, the British imprisoned and exiled her. Over thirteen years passed before she was again permitted to see her son, who was taken to England.