Hyderabad: Princess Saleha Sultan, the titular queen of Bhopal and wife of the late Nawab Bashir Yar Jung of the Paigah family, passed away in Hyderabad on Sunday. She was 80. The funeral will take place in Bhopal on Monday.
She is survived by Mohammed Aamer bin Jung, Muhammad Saad bin Jung, Muhammad Omer bin Jung and Muhammad Fateh Faiz bin Jung. Her husband Nawab Muhammed Bashiruddin Khan Bahadur, known as Bashir Yar Jung passed away, on November 2, 2019.
Princess Saleha was the eldest child of the Nawab of Pataudi senior Hajji Nawab Hafiz Muahmmad Hamidullah Khan and Nawab Begum of Bhopal Sajida Sultan. She was the sister of Nawab Muhammad Mansur Ali Khan Bahadur known as Tiger Pataudi.
Though she was elder to Tiger Pataudi, she was never recognised as the ‘Nawab’ of Bhopal. After the death of Sajid Sultan, the ‘Nawab Begum of Bhopal’, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was recognised as the head of the royal house of Bhopal and retained that title till his death.
Bhopal, being a matriarchal princely state, she was the queen.
Begum Saleha had been fighting a legal battle to get their share of the ancestral property now controlled by the Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan. Her son Faiz bin Jung has been living in Bhopal in rented premises to pursue the legal battle. Her sister Sabiha, who also lives in Hyderabad, moved court after Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi barred her from the Flag Staff House.
She was born in Bhopal on January 14, 1940, and studied at St. George’s International School, Switzerland, and was married on December 20, 1957 in Delhi with Bashir Yar Jung of the Paigah family. Her nikah performed in Hyderabad House was attended by Prime Minster Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.