After becoming a fan favourite of Emmerdale as the villainous Meena, Paige Sandhu has now lined up her next role, playing Queen Victoria's goddaughter Princess Sophia Duleep Singh.


Sandhu will star as the princess in the upcoming film Lioness, a UK/India co-production which will also star Aditi Rao Hydari and will be written and directed by Kajri Babbar.

It has been inspired by the research of historian Peter Bance, who wrote about the princess. As well as being Queen Victoria's goddaughter she was the Princess of Punjab and granddaughter of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, and was a key leader in the UK's suffragette movement.

The film will tell the story of two British Punjabi women living in the UK, with one being Sophia and the other being a fictional story about Mehak Kaur, an educated, married immigrant woman living in Southall in 1990.

Meena Jutla on trial in Emmerdale
Paige Sandhu as Meena Jutla in Emmerdale. ITV

In a post on Instagram, Sandhu said: "I am so incredibly humbled and honoured to be announcing #Lioness.

"To say this part, this story, this cast & crew is a dream come true would be doing it a disservice - I am so blown away by this incredible story and cannot wait for the world to learn about Princess Sophia Duleep Singh."

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She continued: "Granddaughter of the Lion of Punjab, youngest daughter of the deposed Maharajah Duleep Singh and goddaughter to Queen Victoria, her life, the people she helped and her work as a suffragette is truly amazing.

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"And I am SO delighted to be working with the amazing @aditiraohydari and @kajribabbar. Oh go on, I am going to say it! It is a dream come true!"

Sandhu previously explained that she doesn't plan on returning to Emmerdale as Meena, saying that "it won't be a possibility".

She said: "I've loved playing her and I've loved working at Emmerdale, but I feel like the story came to an end. I mean, we did do everything, didn't we? We went for it! I feel like to come back would be over-egging the story."

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