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Ana María Delgado Briones. Maharani of Kapurthala

Updated on March 24, 2015

She was a Spanish singer and dancer, who went on to become Maharani (Great King) of Kapurthala (State of India). She was born on February 8, 1890 in Malaga and she died in Madrid on July 7, 1962.

Her parents ran a small cafe called Chestnut, in which Ana soon revealed her artistic concerns. Along with her sister, Victoria, began attending lessons of declamation. Ana's interest for these classes made her father renew the registration, despite the poor financial situation of the family. Finally, the economic situation became unbearable and decided to move to Madrid.

In Madrid (with his sister and despite the disappointment of her father) she continued her studies and debuted as a dancer in the Central-Kursaal cafe. Both sisters formed the duo The Camellias. At this place came many intellectuals and artists, including the writers Julio Romero and Ricardo Baroja.

At that time it was to celebrate the wedding of King Alphonsus XIII of Spain with the princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. That is why, in Madrid, quotes will yield the global royalty. One of these characters, the Maharajah of Kapurthala, Jagatjit Singh, attended the show and fell in love with the young Spanish, wanting to meet her.

Ana did not accede to requests of the Maharaja and he left Madrid because of the assassination attempt against the kings of Spain. From France, the Maharaja Ana insists and asks her to marry him. She, at first, not accept, but in one of the letters she sends to him, she accepts his marriage proposal. This letter comes at the hands of writers Romero de Torres and Valle-Inclán before being sent to France who, observing the plain language and numerous misspellings, write a new letter that converts the acceptance of marriage in a poetic declaration of love to the Maharaja. Finally, she travels to Paris where civil wedding is celebrated with the Maharaja and then she travels to India where religious wedding (by the Sikh ritual) is held, at the age of 18. Kapurthala ceremony will be remembered for its majesty, the bride went to the back of a richly jeweled elephant.

She lived for years in India, where she had a son, Ajit Singh Maharajkumar, whom she taught him to speak Spanish. In 1914, due to the outbreak of the First World War, Ana travels through Europe making significant donations to the French and British hospitals.

Marital relations began to cool (because of the constant extramarital affairs of the Maharaja). Ana had a brief affair with Maharajkumar Karamjit Singh, son of Maharaja and Rani Sahiba Kanari (his third wife). As a result of this relationship, Ana became pregnant, being forced to abort by her husband. As she recovers from severe anemia caused by abortion, the Maharaja divorces her, forbidding her to return to India but giving an annuity with the condition that she does not remarry.

From that moment, Ana, lives between Paris, Madrid and Malaga. Finally, she moved to Madrid where she died in 1962, because of a heart attack. The death of her husband, in 1949, affected her deeply. Ana's son had a daughter, Maha Akhtar, writer and flamenco dancer. The granddaughter of Maharani has received, by the royal house, the title of Maharajkumari (Grand Duchess) Sahiba and, in 2009, she wrote a book entitled "The granddaughter of the Maharani of Kapurthala".


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