“The Black Prince”, a Hollywood film that traces the life of the last Sikh maharaja of Punjab, Duleep Singh, has begun in London and veteran actor Shabana Azmi is playing Rani Jinda, the royal’s mother. Punjabi singer Satinder Sartaj is playing the role of Duleep Singh.

The film directed by Kavi Raz of Punjabi origin.

Over the last few days, Shabana and Sartaj have shot at the Eastnor Castle in Ledbury and Althorp Spencer family estate where Lady Diana grew up.

Rani Jinda and Duleep Singh were separated when he was 11 years of age. It is said the exile was cleverly designed by Rani Jinda to save young prince from assassination at the hands of contenders to the throne after the death of his father, Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Duleep Singh was taken to UK by the British and lived there all of his life, as a Christian. The British allowed him to meet his mother only at the age of 23. It is said that this meeting was a factor in his reorientation towards Sikhism.

The bilingual English-Hindi/Urdu film is also said to be starred by Jason Flemyng of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” fame and Amanda Root of “Jane Eyre” and “The Iron Lady” fame. Reports say that Flemyng will star as Sir John Login, a Scottish surgeon who was appointed guardian to Maharaja Duleep Singh in 1849. Root plays Queen Victoria. “The maharaja was exiled to Britain and while there, he was befriended by Queen Victoria.