Queen Victoria & Karim Abdul

(1819 – 1901, 1862/3 – 1909)

Daughter of the Duke of Kent and granddaughter of George III, Queen Victoria succeeded to the throne in 1837. She influenced the foreign and home policies of successive governments to a considerable extent, as well as the attitudes and manners of her people. Her reign was the longest in British history.

To her great satisfaction, Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1876 and afterward imported an Indian flavor to her court, employing a number of Indians as her servants. Karim Abdul became a servant to the Queen’s household in 1887 and was promoted to be the Queen’s personal secretary handling matters relating to India in 1894. Victoria is shown here working on her boxes containing state papers while seated in her garden tent at Frogmore House, Windsor, with Karim Abdul attending her.

By Hills & Saunders (active 1850 to 1900)
Carbon print, July 1893
National Portrait Gallery, London
© National Portrait Gallery, London