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ly undiscovered diaries have been found by an author based in the UK which show the intense relationship between Queen Victoria and the Indian man employed to be her teacher. The diaries have been used by London-based author Shrabani Basu to update her book Victoria and Abdul - which tells the story of the queen's close relationship with a tall and handsome Indian Muslim called Abdul Karim. The diaries add weight to suggestions that the queen was arguably far closer to Mr Karim than she was to John Brown - the Scottish servant who befriended her after the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert in They show that when the young Muslim was contemplating throwing in his job, soon after his employment started, because it was too "menial", the queen successfully begged him not to go.
Mr Karim was just 24 when he arrived in England from Agra to wait at table during Queen Victoria's golden jubilee in - four years after Mr Brown's death. He was given to her as a "gift from India". Within a year, the young Muslim was established as a powerful figure in court, becoming the queen's teacher - or munshi - and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs. Mr Karim was to have a profound influence on Queen Victoria's life - like Mr Brown becoming one of her closest confidants - but unlike him, was promoted well beyond servant status.
Ms Basu hints that it is unlikely that the pair were ever lovers - although they did set tongues wagging by spending a quiet night alone in the same highland cottage where earlier she and John Brown used to stay. Mr Karim's influence over the queen became so great that she stipulated that he should be accorded the honour of being among the principal mourners at her funeral in Windsor Castle.
During his service with the queen, Mr Karim was bestowed with many honours as the royal party travelled around Europe meeting monarchs and prime ministers. He taught her how to write in Urdu and Hindi, introduced her to curry - which became a daily item on the royal menu - and eventually became her highly decorated secretary.
He and his wife were given residences on all of the main royal estates in the UK and land in India. He was allowed to carry a sword and wear his medals in court - and was permitted to bring family members from India to England. That Mr Karim inspired the empress of India could be seen not just by her newfound love of curry. Her eagerness to learn Urdu and Hindi because of his teaching was so strong that she even learned to write in both languages - and gave him a ed photo written in Urdu.
She also used his briefings on political developments in India at the turn of the 19th Century to berate successive viceroys, her representatives in India - much to their displeasure - on measures they could have taken to reduce communal tensions.
Such was the level of ill-feeling he generated that barely a few hours after the queen's funeral, her son Edward VII unceremoniously sacked Abdul Karim. In addition, he ordered that all records of their relationship - kept at Mr Karim's homes in India and the UK - should be destroyed. But remarkable detective work by Ms Basu in India and Pakistan unearthed Mr Karim's diaries - kept by surviving family members since his death in - which detail his 10 years in London between Queen Victoria's golden and diamond jubilees.
The diaries and other correspondence were taken back to India by Mr Karim and his nephew, Abdul Rashid, after their dismissal and were in turn sneaked out of India to Pakistan 40 years later when his family migrated during the violence at the time of partition.
A surviving family member in India read about Ms Basu's book in a local newspaper and told her that the diaries were being kept by another branch of the family in Karachi, which she duly tracked down. Book on queen's underwear thief. Queen Victoria's piper honoured.
Historic letters saved for nation.
Principal mourners. Unceremoniously sacked.
More on this story. Published 2 February Published 30 November Published 12 October Related Internet Links. Shrabani Basu.Indian women fuck Victoria
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