Queen Victoria had been a widow for 26 years when she celebrated her Golden Jubilee. That's when a young Indian Muslim servant named Abdul Karim came to work at the palace and soon became Victoria's favorite. She elevated his status and charged him with teaching her Urdu and Indian culture. They spent so much time together that people were talking. Even a hint of impropriety was enough to cause Britain's ruling authorities and Victoria's family to panic.
The British monarchy has been known to be better than the KGB at covering up its scandals and destroying evidence. But where there are secrets, there are detectives lurking nearby (especially when it comes to the affairs of the royal family). Queen Victoria’s kids did their best to cover up her private life, especially the relationship she formed with Indian servant, Abdul Karim. All records of Victoria’s young “munshi” (teacher), as she called him, were supposedly destroyed by relatives, but a discovery of Abdul’s lost diary in 2010 revealed a complex relationship suggesting that the two were more than friends. Did the Queen, 40 years his senior have a not-so-secret crush or was this relationship a way to fill the void of loneliness?
The relationship between the queen and Karim is the subject of the biographical drama Victoria & Abdul set to be released in September. Meanwhile, you can get some background on the real story with an at Messy Messy Chic.