Full-length seated carte-de-visite portrait taken in 1869 by Bourne & Shepherd of Shah Jahan Begum, ruler of Bhopal (1838-1901) 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.