Death of a Maldive Princess


11 March 2008

Oldest member of the Royal House of Huraagey and Hilaaly dies

The Family wishes to thank the incredibly large number of people who have sent their condolences since this article was published. This sharply contrasts with the pointed snub given by the government of president of the republic Mr Gayoom to the funeral of the Princess. In addition to Maldivians of all walks of life who sent us messages of sympathy, we have received a considerable number of messages from royalty watchers across the world and members of foreign royal dynasties.

(this note is inserted on 15 March. To date, we have received an average of about 2000 unique hits per day in this page)

The Princess Maandhoogey Tuttudon Goma died at her residence, Vaidheriyaage, in Malé today, 11 March 2008 at about 9:30 am local time. She was aged 93.

The Princess Tuttudon Goma was the youngest child of the Prince Maandhoogey Tuttu Manippulu who was Prince Regent, and therefore acting head of state, to his brother the Sultan Mohamed Imaduddine VI Iskander during the latter’s long periods of absence from the Maldives. The Princess Tuttudon Goma did not have children but married the Prince Hassan Farid Didi, who was the de facto head of government during the reigns of the Sultans Mohamed Shamsuddine III Iskander and Hassan Nooreddine II Iskander. Hassan Farid Didi was presumed dead when His Britannic Majesty’s warship HMS Maaløy he was travelling in between Addu Atoll and Colombo was sunk on 27 March 1944 by the German submarine U-510.

The Princess Maadhoogey Tuttudon Goma was personally involved in the early years of formal education of Maldive women and girls. The Princess was an active participant in the Maldive women's emancipation movement. She was the principal of the state-run Hameediya School’s girls’ division since the division was incepted in the mid-1940s until it was abolished in 1958.

The Princess had a reputation for practising fine Maldive handicraft and training young women in those skills. In 1972 she was commissioned by the government of the time to prepare the garland presented at the State welcome to the Maldives of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Princess was a patron of and active participant in sports, notably table tennis and lawn tennis. She coached many Maldive women and girls in table tennis and the first national table tennis tournament was held at her residence. The home of lawn tennis in the Maldives was, for many years across the street from her residence.

The Princess Tuttudon Goma was a Senator in the bicameral Parliament of the Maldives during the short-lived first republic of 1953-54. The Princess was the last surviving member of the Maldive Senate.

She was also one of the last surviving members of the Royal House of Huraagey and Hilaaly who held Royal Privileges as defined in the Royal Privileges Act that lapsed with the monarchy in 1968. Some scheduled members of the Royal House, including the Princess Tuttudon Goma, continued to be accorded these token privileges in the republican era under Act Number 1/68-Javiyani of 11 November 1968 of the republican parliament. These provisions of the Act were never formally repealed by legislation but simply disappeared from statute books over the past 29 years.

The Princess’ death was ignored by the current republican authorities. Her family did not receive the customary condolences that the authorities send out following the death of a former state dignitary and spouse of a former head of government.

The Princess Tuttudon Goma and her father (above)

The Princess Tuttudon Goma (left) and her elder sister the Princess Titti Goma. They are dressed in the everyday wear of Maldive princesses that was in vogue during the first four decades of the 20th century

Evidently when the Titti Goma died in 1983, someone told the Maldives president of the republic Mr Gayoom that "Titti Goma has died" to which he replied "Titti Goma is not a name". Under regulations currently imposed in the Maldives by Arab and Pakistan trained mullahs, it is illegal for Maldivians to have indigenous names. All names have to be whetted by a committee of mullahs based in the main mosque and traditional Divehi names are swiftly ruled out. Proxy-colonialism is still alive and well in the Maldives and is enforced by unpatriotic collaborators. Today, a list of Maldivians would read like the telephone directories of Medina or Faisalabad; a group photograph of Maldive women would look like a Saudi harem.