Gouramma of Coorg, the Princess whose story resembles that of Meghan

Gouramma of Coorg, the Princess whose story resembles that of Meghan

The story of Meghan is incredibly reminiscent of the story of the princess of Indian origins, Gouramma, adopted daughter of Queen Victoria

Meghan Markle, the second pregnancy

Historian Priya Atwal revealed, via a long Twitter post, the puzzling parallels between Meghan Markle and Queen Victoria's adopted daughter, Princess Gouramma of Coorg. The post was published following the Duchess of Sussex's shocking confessions to Oprah Winfrey. Meghan said she had thought about suicide several times, in the period of her first pregnancy, due to the pressures suffered by the royal family. Markle's personal story evokes another little-known story of a woman who, like her, paid dearly for her entrance to the Palace.

Princess Gouramma was brought to Great Britain in 1852 by her father Rajah and adopted by Queen Victoria, facing real life and public opinion of the time. The scholar has called the shared idea that Meghan is the first black person in the royal family misleading, revealing the similarities with the princess of Coorg.

Priya explains that the Rajahs fought to regain family wealth from the East India Company and asked Queen Victoria to adopt the princess, mistakenly believing that the ruler could have guaranteed her a better life.

Queen Victoria brought several young royals to the palace as her godchildren; in fact, according to Atwal, her intention was to get to know the new territories and give a good image of the royal family. Although the queen was Gouramma's guardian, the latter went through difficult times, due to the royals who wanted to "Anglicize her" and who did not protect her from the intrusiveness of the press.

Vittoria also forbade the princess from any relationship with her family of origin. Gouramma tried several times to escape to free himself from the control exercised by the royal family over his life. Like Meghan, the Princess of Coorg wanted to assert her right to privacy and be independent but her legitimate desire for freedom at the Palace was attributed to her "innate oriental weakness".

The story of the Princess of Coorg is, to use Priya's words, "incredibly sad": a girl who probably felt lost and confused was misunderstood and opposed by the adults who were supposed to take care of her. Gouramma eventually married and had a daughter but, of poor health, died at the age of 23.

What Atwal wants to underline, comparing the two events, is the way in which the royal family treats the new royal figures and how it affects their lives.

The incendiary statements by Harry and Meghan to CBS exposed a truth that caused “horror and awe” at Buckingam Palace and triggered a series of reactions, bringing to light reflections and forgotten stories, such as that of the Princess of Coorg.

Read also

  • The Queen forgives Harry and Meghan. And Kate will never be a princess
  • Meghan and Harry, Princess Anna pro-Megxit: "It was the right thing"
  • "Harry would never have married Meghan Markle": Court background on Princess Anne
  • The Royal Saga: Harry & Meghan against everyone, when it airs and where to see it
  • Meghan vs Royal Family: "Lies about us. Now I can talk"

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