Head-and-shoulder portrait of Shah Jahan Begum, ruler of Bhopal (1838-1901), by Bourne & Shepherd dated 1869 in pencil on the mount from the 'Album of cartes de visite portraits of Indian rulers and notables'. Bhopal was unique among the princely states in that it was ruled by a succession of widows who governed with the consent of their people and the British Government. Begum Shah-Jahan (1838-1901) succeeded as Nawab Begum twice, the first time between 1844-1860 and the second time between 1868-1901. Shah-Jahan Begum was known for commencing the construction of the Taj-ul-Masjid mosque in Bhopal and for other public work projects like subsidising the cost of a railway to be constructed between Hoshangabad and Bhopal. In 1872 she was created a Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. Shah-Jahan Begum was succeeded by her daughter Begum Nawab Sultan Jahan (1858-1930), who later abdicated in favour of her son in 1926.