Queen Victoria, the subject of the new film Victoria & Abdul, was one sassy monarch. Despite the ‘prim and proper’ norms of the Victorian era, Queen Victoria was an independent and very unconventional ruler, famous for her love of a good curry. The movie starring Judi Dench and Ali Fazal opens in theatres here on Nov 9 – and you can win tickets to the premiere on Nov 7 by scrolling to the form below.
Here are some surprising facts about Queen Victoria – some of which you can see in the film and its trailer.
Photos: © 2017 Universal Studios
Victoria & Abdul
Her Indian Muslim servant, Abdul, became her "dearest friend" and advisor
To celebrate her Golden Jubilee of 50 years on the throne, Victoria invited two Indian servants to attend the celebrations, including the young Abdul Karim. The pair became so close that she referred to him as her “dearest friend”, and would write to him almost daily, signing her letters as “your dear mother”.
She fell in love with curry after Abdul cooked one for her
After Victoria invited Abdul to stay in the royal household, he once used his spice box to cook her a delicious chicken curry with dal and pilau. Fascinated by the taste, she requested for curry to be added to the royal lunch menu – and reportedly ate the dish nearly every day for 13 years.
RELATED: 8 Delicious Curry Recipes
She learned to read and write Urdu fluently
As Empress of India, Victoria was fascinated by all things Indian – and asked Abdul to teach her Urdu, then called Hindustani.
““Am learning a few words of Hindustani to speak to my servants,” Victoria wrote in her personal diary. “It is a great interest to me, for both the language and the people.”
She refused to let racism get in the way of her friendship with Abdul
The royal household, including Victoria’s own children, were horrified that their mother was so close to an Indian servant (though he was later promoted to Indian Secretary to the Queen). Though they tried to put a stop to their friendship, Victoria fired back. She accused her subjects of “race prejudice” and asked them to treat Abdul with respect.
She mourned her husband, Prince Albert, for 40 years
After Prince Albert’s death, Victoria fell into depression and continued wearing black mourning clothes for 40 years, even laying out his clothes every morning until her death.
Though it was speculated that Victoria and Abdul had an affair, historians generally believe their relationship was purely platonic, as she looked at Abdul as a friend and a son.
She had nine children and was called "the grandmother of Europe"
If you think having two or more kids is tricky, spare a thought for Queen Victoria, who had nine children in all. Her 42 grandchildren were found in royal families across Europe, including Germany, Russian, Greece, Romania, Sweden, Norway and Spain.
She survived six assassination attempts
Victoria was extremely lucky to survive many attempts on her life, during her 63-year reign. She finally passed away in 1901, aged 81.
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The Singapore Women’s Weekly is giving away 5 pairs of preview tickets to Victoria & Abdul!
Victoria and Abdul is a biographical comedy-drama film starring Academy Award winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) and directed by Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears (The Queen). Victoria & Abdul tells the extraordinary true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and a young clerk, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend.
Watch the trailer here
Release date: IN CINEMAS NOVEMBER 9
Rating & Consumer Advice: PG – Some coarse language
Copyright: © 2017 Universal Studios
Details of preview:
Date: November 7, 2017, Tuesday
Venue: Shaw Theatres Lido, Level 5
To win, simply fill up the form below!
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Contest is valid from October 31 to November 3, 2017.
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All The Singapore Women’s Weekly giveaways are open to all residents of Singapore, other than the employees and their families of SPHM Pte Ltd and its associated agencies. Prizes offered are not transferable, exchangeable for cash or any other products. Prizes are subject to stock availability and may be substituted with other items of similar value. SPHM Pte Ltd will be notified by post or e-mail. SPHM Pte Ltd reserves the right to amend any of the terms and conditions without prior notice.