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Indian-origin author’s book on Queen Victoria to be made into film

Author Sharbani Basu

London, June 20 (UITV)- An Indian-origin author’s book on Queen Victoria’s relationship with her trusted Indian aide Abdul Karim, an Indian clerk from Agra, to be made into a film with Oscar-winning actor Judi Dench playing the queen.

The book tells the story of the unusual bond that developed between Queen Victoria, then Empress of India, and Abdul Karim, a 24-year-old Indian who was sent to London to wait at tables for the Queen during her golden jubilee celebrations.

Upon becoming friends with the monarch, they both develop a loyalty and relationship which Victoria’s household and inner circle disapprove of, with the Queen finding herself questioning her position as monarch and beginning to see the world anew.

“I’m absolutely delighted that my book is in such safe hands. To have Dame Judi Dench play Victoria is absolutely perfect. With Stephen Frears directing and the screenplay by Lee Hall, it’s a dream team,” said author Sharbani Basu, who wrote ‘Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closet Confidant’ six years ago.

According to book, Karim went on to play a central role at the heart of the empire, with influence over the queen at a time when independence movement in the Indian subcontinent was growing. It is also described as a tender love story between an ordinary Indian and his elderly queen.

“It was Victoria’s wish that he should be the last person to see her after she died and was placed in her coffin. That shows who dear he was to her,” said Basu.