In Victoria’s Golden Jubilee year, Abdul Karim was one of two Indians selected to become servants to Queen Victoria.
He served her during the final fifteen years of her reign, gaining her maternal affection over that time. He became her ‘munshi’ and taught her Urdu and Hindustani and about Islam.
The Queen insisted on taking Karim with her on her travels, which caused arguments between her and her other 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.