Abdul Karim (the Munshi)

Abdul Karim (the Munshi)

Hafiz Mohammed Abdul Karim CIE, CVO (1863–1909) (Hindi: हाफ़िज़ मुहम्मद अब्दुल करीम, Urdu: حافظ محمد عبد الكريم‎) known as "the Munshi", was an Indian Muslim attendant of Queen Victoria. He served her during the final fifteen years of her reign, gaining her affection over that time.

Karim was born near Jhansi in British India, the son of a hospital assistant. In 1887, Victoria's Golden Jubilee year, Karim was one of two Indians selected to become servants to the Queen. Victoria came to like him a great deal and gave him the title of "Munshi", an Urdu word often translated as "clerk" or "teacher". Victoria appointed him her Indian Secretary, showered him with honours, and obtained a land grant for him in India.

The close relationship between Karim and the Queen led to friction within the Royal Household, the other members of which felt themselves to be superior to him. The Queen insisted on taking Karim with her on her travels, which caused arguments between her and her attendants. Following Victoria's death in 1901, her successor, Edward VII, returned Karim to India and ordered the confiscation and destruction of the Munshi's correspondence with Victoria. Karim subsequently lived quietly near Agra, on the estate that Victoria had arranged for him, until his death at the age of 46.

Read more about Abdul Karim (the Munshi):  Early Life, Royal Servant, Household Hostility, Land Grant and Family Matters, Travels and Diamond Jubilee, Later Life, Legacy

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Abdul Karim (the Munshi) - Legacy
... Until the publication of Frederick Ponsonby'smemoirs in 1951,there was little biographical material on the Munshi ... his life and relationship with Victoria began around the 1960s,focusing on the Munshias an illustration of race and class prejudice in Victorian England" ... Mary Lutyens,in editing the diary of her grandmother Edith wife of Lord Lytton,Viceroy of India 187680) concluded,"Though one can understand that the ...