Victoria & Abdul (2017) Movie Script

Ah! Mr. Karim!
I wanted to speak to you
about the carpets
we sent to the
British Exhibition.
There is a problem, sir?
No, no.
The carpets went down
very well.
In fact,
the Governor General
has received a letter
from the Royal Household
thanking him personally.
It's all been such a success,
he has decided
to present the Queen with a
"Mohur" as part of the Jubilee.
A "Mohur," sir?
A Mohur.
Apparently, it's some sort
of ceremonial coin.
I have been asked to find
someone tall to present it.
You're the
tallest person here.
When will she
be arriving, sir?
Not in Agra...
In England!
You will travel to England
and present the Mohur
at an official function.
Like an equerry.
On a horse?
I don't think there'll be
a horse. (CHUCKLES)
Equerry always has a horse,
Mr. Tyler, sir.
Well, maybe not like
an equerry, exactly.
Ah! Morning!
This is Major Bigge...
Extra Groom-in-Waiting to the
Royal Household, Windsor,
who will be in charge
of your journey.
This is Abdul.
Top hole!
And this is Mohammed,
who will also be
presenting the Mohur.
He's very short.
We had to swap him
at the last moment.
The tall chap had an accident
with an elephant.
Good morning, Your Majesty.
MAJOR BIGGE: At the head
is the Lord Chamberlain,
then the Private Secretary,
the Deputy Private Secretary,
the ladies-in-waiting, the upper servants,
the lower-upper servants.
Then the members
of the Household.
One, the Head
of the Bedchamber.
Two, the Personal
Head of Staff.
Three, the Butler in Chief, who is
in charge of the Household Butler,
the kitchen factotum, the Head Chef,
the head of waiting staff,
the ordinary waiting staff,
Windsor, the table maids,
then you.
Any questions?
Uh-huh. Who will have
the Mohur, sir?
I'm not exactly sure as yet.
I suspect you'll both
carry it on a cushion.
Do we both
get a cushion?
I really don't know.
The key to good service is standing
still and moving backwards.
The most important thing
is you must not look at her.
Have you any idea
how cold it is in England?
We're gonna die there.
Why did you agree to come?
The tall one
fell off an elephant.
I wasn't given a choice.
Ugh! Five thousand miles
to present a bloody medal
to the oppressor of the
entire Indian subcontinent.
You don't realize what a
great honor this is for us.
Have you ever tasted English food?
They eat pigs' blood.
They do not eat pigs' blood.
I'm telling you.
They put pigs' blood in the
sausages and brains of sheep.
The place is
completely barbaric.
BEGGAR: Give me some money.
Please, sir.
Give us a farthing.
Give us a farthing, sir.
We copied them from some
drawings in the British Museum.
You do know a sash is
not traditional, sir?
The Indian drawings
didn't look very... "Indian."
So we made some innovations.
The important thing
is to look
Looks jolly good to me.
SIR HENRY: Jubilee celebrations.
9:00, breakfast in London.
Quarter to 10:00,
changing of the guard.
11:00, meeting with
the Swedish Ambassador.
12:00, luncheon with Oscar II,
King of Sweden and Norway,
the Norwegian Ambassador,
the Chief Under-Secretary of State
for the Southern
Norwegian Provinces,
the Junior
Under-Secretary of State
for the Northern
Norwegian Provinces.
2:00, ceremonial
drive down the Mall.
Half past 2:00,
tea party at Hyde Park
for 30,000 children.
Half past 4:00,
Household departs on
the Royal train for Windsor.
Half past 6:00,
dinner in the Great Hall.
MAJOR BIGGE: Come on, men!
Chop, chop!
SIR HENRY: And the
ceremonial presentation
of a Mohur.
The Hindus, sir!
ALICK: But they're
completely different sizes.
There was an incident,
sir, with an elephant.
ALICK: The Queen arrives.
Ceremonial entrance.
The Royal Entourage
make their way to the table
to be seated thus.
Her Majesty.
Sir Henry Ponsonby,
Private Secretary,
the Secretary of
State for India,
the Emperor of Russia, Dr. Reid,
Lady Churchill, Miss Phipps,
et cetera, et cetera.
Soup, potage Saint-Germain
with pure de madeleine.
Fish course,
morue aux hutres.
Entre, quenelle with regency
sauce, et cetera, et cetera.
Dessert, pain d'pinards,
tartelettes la suisse,
Always profiteroles.
You will come from the
northwest service entrance.
Process together.
And you will stand here.
A little bit.
That's it.
Presenting the tray thus.
I thought it was
a cushion.
You will present the tray...
MOHAMMED: Excuse me.
Do I get a tray?
No. We've only
got one tray.
So, what do I do?
You'll just
have to improvise.
Whatever you do, you must
not look at Her Majesty.
You will bow again.
Then moving backwards,
you will turn to your left,
you will lead thus,
and you will
process down the hall
to be met by Mr. Bigge,
who will walk you to the north
wall, where you will stand
till the end of the meal.
Would you like me to
run through that again?
Mr. Yorke, she's
heading to Paddington!
(GASPS) Everybody out!
You two, stairs, now!
Jesus Christ!
Where are the quenelles?
Oi, you two,
out of it!
She's at the station, sir!
Jesus H Christ,
she's at the station!
For God's sake,
just wait where you were told.
Open the door.
Open the doors!
Open the doors!
Open the doors!
She's here.
Soup! Soup!
(SIGHS) Thank heavens!
Soup, Your Majesty.
What, are you taking it all?
I haven't finished yet.
I'm afraid you
have to be quick.
They take it off you
as soon as she's done.
One down, six to go.
The morue aux hutres,
and then the quenelle.
Yes, sir.
"The morue aux hutres,
and then the quenelles."
This is bloody ridiculous.
Two months in a boat, and I
haven't even got a tray?
GUEST: Yes. Apparently you
have to chew it 32 times.
I have the Mohur.
Is that it?
Your Majesty?
Your Majesty?
The, uh...
The profiteroles.
MOHAMMED: Is that it?
Profiteroles have gone.
Gentlemen, process,
turn, bow, present,
and absolutely no
eye contact whatsoever.
from the Indian Empire.
A Mohur, Your Majesty.
A what?
A Mughal coin,
Your Majesty.
In honor of your service
to the subcontinent.
Have we finished?
We still have coffee,
Your Majesty.
Good morning, Your Majesty.
SIR HENRY: Breakfast with
the Royal Princes of Belgium.
11:00, an audience
with the Sultan of Dubai
where Her Majesty will be presented
with the Diamond of Ooojay.
Garden party where
Her Majesty will receive
Oscar II, King of
Sweden and Norway, again.
And Queen Lili'uokalani.
Who on Earth is she?
A monarch and
sole Queen Regnant
of the Kingdom of Hawaii,
Your Majesty.
She has composed
a song for you.
On the ukulele.
But we have managed
to put her off.
Then you will eat with the
Prime Minister, and, at 7:00,
the banquet in
the State Dining Room.
And your movements,
Your Majesty?
Nothing to speak of,
Dr. Reid.
Not even during the day?
We last moved on
Sunday evening.
I fear these
celebratory dinners
are taking their toll,
Your Majesty.
Might I suggest
some Benger's mixture?
I refuse to eat Benger's.
It's baby food.
But it is imperative,
Your Majesty,
that the Royal colon
receives a little roughage.
Anything else?
SIR HENRY: Was Your Majesty
pleased with the Mohur?
The Mohur.
The ceremonial coin.
Presented by the
two Indian servants.
I thought the tall one
was terribly handsome.
Slight change of plan.
You must not talk
to any of the guests.
Nod or bow,
but, please,
do not interact with anybody
other than the serving staff.
I will come to you
when the Queen is seated,
and you will present the
Royal pudding as requested.
Excuse me, sir...
But what is it?
That is a jelly.
A pudding made from
the liquor of fruit.
How do they get it so stiff?
a by-product of cow bone.
another famine in India.
More trouble in Ireland,
I'm afraid.
Suez is a perennial nightmare.
And I'm afraid
the Boers are at it again.
Is there any good news,
Prime Minister?
Well, we've decided to
annex Zululand, Your Majesty.
Whatever for?
We really have to box in the
Boers if we possibly can.
Oh, Prime Minister, you really
are terribly depressing.
Ah, sandwiches! Mm!
MAN: Splendid!
That's wonderful.
Jelly, Your Majesty.
I suddenly feel
a great deal better.
What the hell
were you thinking?
You said,
"Present the jelly," sir.
I didn't say kiss the feet
of the Empress of India!
I thought it
would cheer her up.
Cheer her up?
They'll have me
What on Earth
is going on?
Her Majesty has requested
Mr. Karim and Mr. Baksh
be her personal footmen
for the rest of the Jubilee.
Ah, gentlemen.
You can wait here by the door.
Her Majesty wants you to stand
in here, by the writing desk.
Go on.
Thank you.
You may go.
Oh, thank you,
Your Majesty.
Don't worry.
I'm not going to eat you.
"Dr. Reid,
"a very successful movement
"at 8:00 this morning."
What the hell is
going on in there?
Thank you, Mr...
Abdul Karim.
I am always writing.
In India, I'm writing
all day, every day.
So in India,
you are not a servant?
No. In India, I'm writing
in my very big book.
You're writing a book?
Yes. I'm writing every name,
who they are, what they have done.
This is my life.
Every day, I'm writing,
from morning to night.
And is this fiction?
It is the very truth.
I don't understand.
If you are an author,
why are you here?
Presenting me with a...
The Mohur.
It is my humble privilege
to serve Her Majesty.
I was the one who
chose your carpets.
Yes. The Viceroy asked Mr. Tyler,
sir, but actually it was me.
You have to have a very
good eye for the carpets.
Like, this is a very
nice one, for example.
Very, very tight knots.
The art of carpets
came to India from Persia
with the great Emperor Akbar.
The skill of a carpet
is to bring all the different
kinds of threads together
and weave something
we can all stand on.
You seem to know
a great deal about it.
My family were
carpet makers,
but now I write in the book.
Life is like a carpet.
We weave in and out
to make a pattern.
That is a very
beautiful image.
Here is the bird of freedom
caught forever in the design.
So, in India you are a poet?
In India, I make
a ledger of the prisoners.
We are all prisoners,
Mr. Karim.
Apparently, he's a poet.
These people
are the exploiters
of a quarter of
all of mankind.
Do you really think they
give a hoot about us, huh?
We'll bloody well
freeze to death at this rate.
Cut all the nicey-nicey crap,
and let's get the hell out of here.
I promise.
Good night.
Will you stop doing that?
You realize
this is the third day
in a row.
may I ask what part
of India you're from?
I'm from Agra.
The Taj Mahal?
You have been
to the Taj Mahal?
It is the most
marvelous building
in the entire world,
Your Majesty.
The Crown of Palaces.
It was built by Shah Jahan
to remember his dead wife
who died at childbirth
during their fourteenth child.
He was so upset with grief,
he brought the greatest architects
from Persia, Afghanistan,
to build the Taj Mahal.
It certainly sounds
a handsome building.
I'd very much
like to see it.
Oh, it is beautiful,
Your Majesty!
It's all white marble.
All that beauty
for the dead Queen.
Mmm. How romantic.
ABDUL: Shah Jahan also
built the Red Fort,
the Gardens of Shalimar,
the Peacock Throne.
The Peacock Throne?
It is the most beautiful
throne in all the world.
And inside the throne
was the Koh-i-noor.
But I have the Koh-i-noor.
I wear it as a brooch.
Do you?
It wasn't very shiny,
so Albert had it recut.
What happened to
the Peacock Throne?
They smashed it up.
How awful.
They're always
smashing things up.
The British soldiers have taken
the jewels from the Taj Mahal.
British soldiers?
Yes, after the Mutiny.
But this is terrible.
What can they
be talking about?
A servant and an Indian.
What on Earth
does she see in him?
Well, he is
rather handsome.
What happened
to Shah Jahan?
He was overthrown by his son
and died in Agra Fort.
The wickedness of children.
They buried him in the Taj
Mahal with his wife, Mumtaz.
They also wrote
an inscription.
"Here lies Shah Jahan
"who left this world for
the Banquet Hall of Eternity."
"The Banquet
Hall of Eternity."
I rather like that idea.
You seem very well
Ah, these are famous
stories of Uttar Pradesh.
You should go there.
Oh, I can never go there.
I'm forbidden.
They fear I would
be assassinated.
So, you have never
seen an Indian street?
Or a stall of spices?
Oh, the spices!
Cumin, coriander,
garam masala.
Garam masa...
What is garam masala?
It is what you
put into the sauce.
You have never
tasted Indian food?
Dal? Rogan josh?
Biryani with mango chutney.
Mango chutney?
Chutney made out of mango.
What is mango?
Mango is the queen of fruit.
What does it taste like?
Like an orange
and a peach.
Sir Henry,
I would like a mango.
A mango?
Yes, I would like
to taste a mango.
That's impossible,
Your Majesty.
They only grow in India.
Well, I'm Empress of India,
so have one sent.
Your Majesty?
Thank you.
Another one.
Thank you.
How do you like
your new Scottish costumes?
They're very scratchy,
Your Majesty.
Everything in Scotland
is scratchy.
Sir Henry?
When does Bertie arrive?
Your Majesty.
He's on his way
from Monte Carlo.
It's all right for her.
She's upholstered.
Oh, God, I hate Scotland!
You must be the Hindus!
Very nice to meet you.
You must be the Hindus.
You must be the Hindus.
More, more! More! More.
I wish she'd
bloody well go to bed.
Good morning, Your Majesty.
The boxes, Your Majesty.
Thank you.
And the blank journal
Your Majesty requested.
You may go.
I'm perfectly capable
of working through the boxes.
Abdul is very helpful
with his blotter.
But these are parliamentary
papers, Your Majesty.
I'm aware of that.
But Abdul is a servant.
He cannot assist
with the boxes.
And I am the Queen of England.
I will have whatever help
I require with the boxes.
And, Sir Henry,
would you get some
gloves for the Hindus?
They're suffering
terribly from the cold.
He's helping her
with the boxes.
I want you to teach me Indian.
Hindu, or whatever
it is you speak.
Are you sure?
Of course I'm sure.
But why would you like to
learn Hindi, Your Majesty?
Well, I'm Empress of India.
Look, I've ordered a book.
I want you to give me
private lessons.
I can't teach you Hindi,
Your Majesty.
Why ever not?
You are the
Empress of India.
You should learn Urdu,
language of the Mughals.
There are a thousand
languages in India.
But Urdu is the most noble.
In Hindi,
you write like this.
But in Urdu,
you write like this.
"I am the Queen."
I see.
He's teaching her Hindu.
Is that allowed?
I think you will
find it is Urdu.
The Muslim version.
Oh, my goodness me!
That's it.
You are the Queen.
The Queen is very wise.
You see?
Now, you write it down.
She's writing
in her journal.
And she's speaking
in Hindustani.
No, it's Urdu,
The Muslim version.
Knee. Knee. Knee.
Yes! Yes!
Thank you, Abdul.
You are an excellent teacher.
Were you spying on me?
Were you learning Urdu?
Yes, I was,
as a matter of fact.
You think that's
entirely appropriate?
Well, I'm Empress of India.
What could be more appropriate?
But in front of
the entire Household?
You're absolutely right.
I have no privacy here.
Sir Henry,
I would like to go with Abdul
to Glassalt Shiel.
Glassalt Shiel?
But I've only just got here!
Oh, to be by oneself and live a
simple, rudimentary existence.
They don't
understand anything,
those stupid
aristocratic fools.
Toadying around.
Jockeying for position.
I've had it
all my life.
They couldn't bear me bringing
dear John Brown here.
Yet I was happier here than
anywhere in the entire world.
Oh, I miss him, Abdul.
And Albert.
It's 30 years now,
and I think of him every day.
I'm so lonely.
Everyone I've really loved has died,
and I just go on and on.
(SOFTLY) Your Majesty.
It's an impossible
No one really knows what
it's like to be Queen.
I'm hated by millions of
people all over the world.
I have had nine children,
all vain and jealous,
and at loggerheads
with each other.
And Bertie's
a complete embarrassment.
And look at me!
A fat, lame, impotent,
silly old woman.
What is the point, Abdul?
What is the point?
I think we are not here
to worry about ourselves.
We are here for
a greater purpose.
In the Koran it says, "We are
here for the good of others."
The Koran?
Yes, I am a hafiz.
I know the Koran by heart.
By heart?
Isn't it very long?
114 surahs,
containing 6,236 verses.
And you know every word?
Many Muslim people
know the Koran.
I thought you were Hindu.
I am a Muslim, Your Majesty.
I learnt the Koran
from my father.
He's my munshi.
Yes. Munshi.
My teacher.
Well, we would like you
to be the Queen's munshi.
But I'm only a servant,
Your Majesty.
A servant cannot be a munshi.
Well, you are
a servant no longer.
You are my teacher.
You will teach me Urdu,
and the Koran,
and anything else
you can think of.
What the hell is a munshi?
Well, apparently it's some
sort of a spiritual teacher,
Your Royal Highness.
Has she completely
lost her mind?
She's the head of the Church
of England, for God's sake.
What's the Archbishop
of Canterbury going to say?
I say he's the "brown"
John Brown.
Oh, my God!
Your Majesty.
Good evening, Bertie.
Dinner is served!
BERTIE: Lady Churchill
was absolutely scandalized
sitting next to a servant.
And a Hindu to boot!
The Munshi is a Muslim scholar and
knows the Koran off by heart.
And for your information,
he's a servant no longer.
He's to be given
a staff of his own.
What do you mean,
"a staff"?
The little fat one.
Oh, this is absurd!
invitations to supper...
You're treating him
like a member of the family.
No, I like Abdul.
Lady Churchill had
better get used to the fact
as the Munshi is
coming on holiday with us.
As a member
of the Household.
You can't take
a Muslim to Florence.
I can take a Muslim
wherever I like.
Good night, Bertie.
A spiritual advisor?
You haven't
an idea in your head!
You promised to
get us out of here,
and now we're going
to bloody Florence.
You don't see what a privilege it
is to see the glories of Italy
with all these
wonderful people.
You complete bloody idiot!
Do you think they're just going to
stand there and let her promote a wog?
I did not come here
to carry your bloody cases.
What are you
complaining about?
We have our own carriage
with a bathroom.
They've made a very nice bed
for you on the floor.
Oh, I'm dying here.
I want to go home.
I'm getting sick of
your negative attitude.
Life is a big adventure.
You just need to
open up and enjoy it.
We're on holiday.
And what? What on Earth
can possibly go wrong?
"Do not pull."
I would like to apologize for the
emergency brakes, Your Majesty.
And I hope you
did not get injured.
Oh, Abdul!
It was nothing.
It was a perfectly
understandable mistake.
I'm so glad you're with us.
What a treat to show you Florence.
What's he doing here?
Abdul came to explain
what happened earlier.
I really don't see why I have
to share your bathroom.
I shared a bed with my mother
until I became Queen.
I am 57 years old.
The Munshi has got
his own bathroom.
Yes, very fine bathroom.
Yes, yes!
Good night, Mama.
Good night, Mr. Bertie.
Bertie, make sure
you shut that door.
I have something for you.
To celebrate your first visit to
Florence and for becoming my munshi.
It is a locket.
With a picture of me.
How can I ever thank you,
Your Majesty?
Keep me safe.
Oh, Abdul.
You will love Florence.
Such wonderful views.
Isn't it glorious?
Albert loved it here.
He so admired the Medicis,
that they commissioned the
greatest artists of the day
in order to leave something
astonishing behind.
In India also,
we commission great artists.
Each emperor would bring
the greatest craftsmen
to make great glories
for their durbar room.
Durbar room?
Every emperor
had a durbar room,
full of the finest
things known to man.
Well, I'm the Empress of India,
I should have a durbar room.
That's a wonderful idea,
Your Majesty.
But where
would you put it?
Oh, the Isle of Wight,
Your Majesty,
Signor Puccini has arrived.
Where did you say it
was from, Mr. Puccini?
From my new opera,
Your Majesty,
Manon Lescaut.
About two lovers who are
separated by the class divide.
But they run away together.
Oh, it sounds marvelous!
But she is imprisoned
for her love.
But they escape.
But finally she dies,
and he is utterly bereft.
I'm not sure we do like
the sound of it after all.
We prefer comic opera.
Do you know any
Gilbert and Sullivan?
Perhaps Your Majesty
will sing us a song?
Please? Oh, no,
I couldn't possibly.
Of course, of course,
yes, Your Majesty!
No, really.
Yes, Your Majesty.
Oh, well.
Maybe just one.
From Pinafore, Bertie?
Do I have to?
I'm called Little Buttercup
Dear Little Buttercup
Though I could never tell why
But still I'm called Buttercup
Poor Little Buttercup
Sweet Little Buttercup, I
I've snuff and tobaccy
And excellent jacky
I was taught by Mendelssohn,
you know?
To the Queen!
ALL: To the Queen!
To me!
We shouldn't have had
so much champagne.
May I?
Oh, Abdul!
I haven't been as happy
as this for years.
When I first came to England,
I was terrified of you.
But you're a very kind lady.
You're a very
unique lady to me.
And you are very,
very unique to me, Abdul.
I know that you are
much older than me,
you are the
Queen of England,
and the Empress of India,
and I'm just
a humble munshi.
But I think
you are the most special
person in my whole life.
Even more special
than my wife.
You're married?
Of course.
Where is your wife?
In India.
Why didn't you tell me
you were married?
I didn't think it mattered.
Well, of course it matters.
It changes everything.
You must return to
India immediately.
And bring her back at once.
(SIGHS) Bloody hell.
He's coming!
How terribly exciting.
It's Ali Baba!
Look at the size of him.
Where'd he get
those medals?
What the devil
is she wearing?
You can't even
see her face.
She looks rather splendid.
But you cannot actually
see her, Your Majesty.
I think it's rather
Who the hell is that?
Get the bags, boy.
He's brought a serving boy.
Good God, another one!
How many has he got in there?
Ruddy sod's a bigamist.
I do hope they like their little cottage.
Your Majesty.
I hope it's not inconvenient.
I just thought
we'd pop round for tea.
This is my granddaughter,
Sophia, Queen of Greece.
And this is Grand Duchess
Sophie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
And my daughter,
Princess Helena
Augusta Victoria
of Schleswig-Holstein-
This is my wife,
Mrs. Karim.
And this is my
Your Majesty,
Sophia, Queen of Greece,
Grand Duchess Sophie
of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach,
Princess Helena
Augusta Victoria
of Schleswig-Holstein-
I would like to take this
opportunity on behalf of myself,
my wife, and
my wife's mother
to thank Her Majesty
for accommodating us.
We are very grateful
for her infinite kindness
and interior decoration.
The gift of hospitality
and friendship to strangers
is of very high importance
in our culture.
And so we are honored to
repay it in our own small way.
What is ours is yours.
Quite literally.
My dear Munshi,
we are so glad to have
you here, my children.
We have missed you enormously.
I can't wait to show
you the Durbar Room.
Ponsonby, you will have to do
something about this.
My dear Munshi,
I'm so glad you're back.
It's been dreadfully
dull without you.
And I'm so glad
to meet Mrs. Karim.
There is just one thing I've been
curious about the whole afternoon.
What does she look like
behind her veil?
You must see her.
Is that allowed?
You're a lady.
And the Empress of India.
Well, where the bloody
hell's she going now?
Your Majesty.
You really are beautiful.
Earth is a durbar room?
It's a celebration of all
things Indian, Prime Minister,
inspired by
the Mughal emperors.
But I don't understand.
Who gave her permission to
build this in the first place?
Don't blame me,
I was in Monte Carlo.
I'm afraid she's a law
unto herself, Prime Minister.
For God's sake!
She'll be wearing a burqa next.
Prime Minister,
you are late.
I'm terribly sorry,
Your Majesty.
Well, let us begin.
This, as you can see,
is the Indian corridor.
The Durbar Room was designed
by Mr. Bhai Ram Singh.
The place is
crawling with them.
We have commissioned a series of
portraits of eminent Indians.
Princess Gowramma.
And this of course,
is the Munshi.
An honor to meet you,
Mr. Prime Minister, sir.
A good likeness,
don't you think?
I asked him to
take a few pounds off.
This is my wife,
Mr. Prime Minister, sir.
And that is my mother-in-law.
At least I think
that's the right way round.
These are my servants,
Mohammed and Ahmed.
And this is the Durbar Room.
What the hell is
going on here, Ponsonby?
The carvings are
from Uttar Pradesh.
And the carpet was
woven in a jail in Agra.
Perfect, I think,
for the tableau.
But the pice de rsistance
is the Peacock Throne.
An exact copy
of the one at Agra.
And, of course, the Koh-i-noor.
Now I really do feel
like the Empress of India.
I thought she was
supposed to be dying.
It really is a remarkable addition
to the house, Your Majesty.
We have Abdul to
thank for the whole idea.
To celebrate the completion
of the Durbar Room,
a little surprise,
Your Majesty.
What is it?
A mango, Your Majesty.
One moment, Your Majesty.
It's off.
Sir Henry.
This mango is off.
I'm terribly sorry,
Your Majesty.
Take one of these
whenever you see the Munshi.
QUEEN VICTORIA: I can't wait to show
you the tableau, Prime Minister.
A line has definitively
been crossed.
I can't go on stage like this.
I'm absolutely sick.
But you have to.
The Prime Minister
will be watching.
This is a complete
and utter disaster.
I don't know what
you're talking about.
They've been waiting
for this.
Who? Who have?
Ponsonby, Reid,
the whole damn lot.
Don't you see? She's been
rubbing their noses in it,
but now it's going public.
I'm telling you, they're
not going to stand for it.
They'll rise up and chop
your bloody balls off.
I haven't done anything.
You stupid bloody Uncle Tom.
You can't win on their terms.
Mrs. Munshi.
I've never been so humiliated
in my entire life.
I'm rather enjoying it.
Beginners on stage,
A scene in Ancient Persia.
I am the Sultan of Persia.
The King of all Kings.
Your Highness!
We bestow upon you all the
riches of the Orient.
You are now under my power!
Bravo, bravo,
the Munshi!
What the hell is this,
Ponsonby? Munshi-mania?
I'm trying to keep
an empire together,
looks like they're
running the place.
I want this whole sodding mess
knocked on the head.
Or you're finished.
Oh, Sir Henry.
Tell us what exactly did the Prime
Minister say about the tableau?
To be entirely frank,
Your Majesty,
he seemed to be
a little perturbed.
Whatever for?
He must have liked
the Munshi.
I think the Munshi was
the problem, Your Majesty.
Really? I thought
he was rather good.
I think he meant his position,
I think he was rather alarmed
he had such a prominent role
in the Household.
QUEEN VICTORIA: Of course Abdul has
a prominent role in the Household.
He is my munshi.
But he's an Indian,
Your Majesty.
I am aware of that.
Given current sensitivities in
the subcontinent, Your Majesty,
the Prime Minister was
concerned that it might be
sending the wrong message.
I should have thought
it was a jolly good message.
But he's a Muslim,
Your Majesty.
We owe them so much,
do we not?
For their role in the Mutiny,
for example.
The Mutiny, Your Majesty?
Yes, for the help they gave us
with the Hindus.
But the Mutiny was a Muslim-led
revolt, Your Majesty.
Are you sure?
DR. REID: Of course.
The Muslim soldiers revolted
when it was rumored that their
rifles were greased with pork fat.
The Grand Mufti, himself,
put out a fatwa against you
personally, Your Majesty.
And Muslim soldiers murdered over
two thousand British personnel.
Who have you been
talking to, Mother?
I have opened
my heart to you.
I brought your
family from India.
I promoted you in the face
of considerable opposition
and disquiet
from the Household.
I even turned
a blind eye
when you failed to tell me
that you were married,
which, as you know,
came as quite a surprise.
How could you let me
humiliate myself
in front of
the entire Household?
I am deeply sorry,
Your Majesty.
QUEEN VICTORIA: You said the
Hindus were behind the Mutiny.
ABDUL: I didn't say
it was only the Hindus.
QUEEN VICTORIA: You told me categorically
the Muslims were my friends.
ABDUL: We are
your friends, Your...
there is a fatwa against me.
It was the Muslims
who started the whole thing.
This is completely
Abdul, I thought you were outstanding
as the Sultan of Persia,
but I'm afraid
you have to go home.
You've hurt my feelings
very much indeed.
Don't you see the position
you have put me in?
Thank you for everything
you've done for me.
I will miss you
a very great deal.
So, we're going home?
Good night, Mother.
Good night.
Mrs. Tuck?
Mrs. Tuck.
You've been an utter fool.
And I'm absolutely
furious with you.
It is unconscionable
that as my munshi
you should have
lied to me in any way.
It would be also
completely churlish of me
not to recognize
the considerable kindness
and devotion
you have shown.
I suppose in some way you
thought you were protecting me.
But as the monarch I realize that
nothing can really protect me.
And so, in that light,
I have decided,
although I'm
very disappointed,
that I want you to stay.
Your gracious Majesty.
Thank you, Your Majesty.
Abdul, there is something
we must sort out.
I am deeply concerned
about Mrs. Karim.
Mrs. Karim?
By now,
one would have expected
to hear the pitter-patter
of little Muslim feet
along the corridors
of Osborne House.
I am concerned
that everything is
functioning below stairs.
I want you to examine
Mrs. Karim.
Examine Mrs. Karim?
Just, um, make sure that
everything's working.
But, Your Majesty,
I thought the Munshi and
his family were leaving us.
Whatever gave you
that impression?
The Munshi and his family are integral
parts of the Royal Household.
As far as I'm concerned,
this is war.
We're going to dig
up every last bit
of dirt this
blackguard's ever done.
I want someone in India raking
through the family coals.
Your son's out there,
isn't he, Ponsonby?
I couldn't
possibly be involved
in subterfuge,
Your Royal Highness.
Look, very soon
I am going to be King.
You will bloody well do
as you're told!
You'll leave
no stone unturned.
You will make a dossier, and you put
it all down in black and white.
And put an end
to all this shit!
For good.
Well, I'd better go
and examine Mrs. Munshi.
ABDUL: Dr. Reid.
Do come in.
She'll have to
uncover her face.
That is impossible, sir.
I need to see
her tongue.
She's fine.
SIR HENRY: Mr. Mohammed.
We have come here because we are
not unaware of your predicament.
That you arrived in the first
place almost by accident,
and now find
yourself stuck here
through a bizarre set of circumstances,
none of your own making.
Nor is it beneath
our notice
that the inclement
English weather
has been the cause
of a precipitous decline
in your general health.
What is more,
you continue to suffer
the vast indignity
of being a servant to someone who
is in many ways your inferior.
So, it occurred
to us that, um,
we might be able to
offer you some help.
Travel home.
Perhaps a modest pension.
In return, of course,
for, um...
A little information.
You want me to
dish the dirty?
In a manner of speaking.
What would you
like me to say?
Anything, really.
Well, we need details.
What he says.
What he does.
Abdul does what
everyone else does.
He, uh...
He looks for preferment.
He curries favor.
He crawls up
the stinking greasy pole
of the shitty British Empire.
Making fools of all of you,
because he is a servant.
An Indian Muslim servant,
and you are all
quaking in your boots
because he's beating you
at your own game.
No one is quaking
in their boots.
We are the most
powerful nation on Earth.
At the height
of our influence.
In that case,
the only way is down.
So stick your
stupid British Empire
up your stinky royal bottom hole,
Mr. Bertie Prince, sir.
I hope he makes the whole damn
thing come tumbling down.
I will see to it
that you die here.
He didn't say anything.
What do you mean,
"He didn't say anything"?
We did our best with him,
but he spoke
most intemperately.
The man is an
absolute shit.
Dr. Reid.
I'm not a fool.
I know there is some
skullduggery afoot.
Something's going on here, and
I'm not going to stand for it.
Dr. Reid,
I asked you to
get to the bottom
of Mrs. Karim's
fertility issues.
It seems that
nothing has been done.
Well, actually,
Your Majesty,
it was impossible to make
a conclusive judgment
for religious reasons.
Did you examine the Munshi?
No, Your Majesty.
Well, examine the Munshi.
I did not do seven years
at Edinburgh University
to look at Indian dicks!
He is riddled with the clap!
Well, well.
Mother, we have
to see you.
I'm in the middle
of my Urdu lesson.
Mother, we come with very important
news of a highly personal matter.
I've nothing to
hide from Abdul.
Please, Your Majesty.
Your Majesty...
I'm afraid our news
concerns the Munshi.
We have proof beyond any doubt
that Abdul Karim
is a low-born impostor,
Your Majesty.
The Munshi is from a noble family
and a long line of teachers.
No, I'm afraid he was a mere
clerk in a common jail.
My own son has sent word from
India and has actually spoken
to his immediate superior.
His family are
completely uneducated.
His father is
a lowly apothecary.
BERTIE: The Munshi never even
went to school, Mother.
The man's a complete fraud.
And here he is,
overlooking the boxes.
SIR HENRY: I'm afraid it's true,
Your Majesty.
Abdul and his father
are completely common.
We have prepared a dossier.
You despicable toads!
Spying? Dossier?
Picking on a poor
defenseless Indian?
Of course he doesn't
have qualifications.
They do things completely
differently out there.
Don't you see, Mama?
He's using his position
for his own gain.
And how does that make him
any different from any of you?
How dare you
look down on Abdul?
How dare you defame
his poor father?
Bertie, I'm ashamed
that you're part of all this.
Abdul is a loyal, wise,
sympathetic human being,
who has raised himself
on his own merits.
Bring Abdul in here.
Bring him in!
Now, I want you
to repeat after me,
"I will be courteous
to the Munshi."
I will be courteous
to the Munshi.
I will be courteous
to the Munshi.
Bertie. All of you.
"I will be courteous
to the Munshi."
ALL: I will be courteous
to the Munshi.
It has become apparent
that in order to get any
respect from the Household,
one needs to be
formally recognized.
In which case, Abdul.
I intend to give you a knighthood
in the next honors list.
Enough! This is absurd!
We cannot protect you
from this any further.
The man is riddled
with gonorrhea!
Yes. Your Majesty.
Well, you are a doctor.
Why don't you treat him?
Now get out of my sight,
all of you!
Listen, you pox-ridden
Indian shit!
Why don't you bloody well leave her alone?
Dr. Reid! Dr. Reid!
Be courteous!
Surely there is
some law against it.
The man's a common Indian,
for God's sakes.
Well, she can't
just do what she likes.
That's right.
We are the ones who
make this palace work,
and we are being ignored
and exploited.
We have to stand up
to this wanton bullying.
But she's the Queen.
She's our sovereign.
Her position is based entirely on the
implicit contract she makes with us.
If she does not drop
this preposterous insult,
we should all leave!
Somebody has to tell her.
We should make a deputation.
I think you should go.
You're the head
of the Household.
Oh, no,
I couldn't possibly go.
It would bring
the position into disrepute.
Mrs. Tuck.
You know her very well,
don't you?
But I'm just her dresser.
What about you,
Miss Phipps?
Off you go.
And don't take
"no" for an answer.
Your Majesty.
Out with it.
Girl, can't you see,
I'm busy.
There is something
I must say that...
What is the meaning of this?
Stop shaking!
I have come to ask
you to reconsider the...
The elevation of...
Of Mr. Karim.
What did you say?
I've come to ask you not to give Mr.
Karim a knighthood, Your Majesty.
Why the devil not?
The members of
the Household demand
that you abandon your plans,
Your Majesty.
We believe that it degrades the
very concept of knighthood.
He comes from a very low
family, Your Majesty.
he is colored.
Get out of my sight.
Did you not hear me?
Your Majesty, I must inform
you that if you refuse,
the entire Household
will resign.
Mummy, enough is enough.
You will drop this Munshi
business forthwith.
Do you hear me?
Did you really
think the Household
would countenance
such an insult?
I will not be disobeyed.
No. No.
I have put up with
you for over 50 years!
You will drop
this forthwith or...
Or, or, or, or, Bertie?
we will have you
certified insane!
And removed from
office immediately.
Here are the papers
signed by Dr. Reid.
I am 81 years of age.
I've had nine children,
and 42 grandchildren,
and have almost
a billion citizens.
I have rheumatism,
a collapsed uterus.
I'm morbidly obese
and deaf in one ear.
I have known
eleven Prime Ministers
and passed 2,347
pieces of legislation.
I've been in office
62 years, 234 days.
Thus, I am the longest-serving
monarch in world history.
I'm responsible
for five households
and a staff of over 3,000.
I am cantankerous,
boring, greedy,
fat, ill-tempered,
at times selfish and myopic,
both metaphorically and literally.
I am perhaps disagreeably
attached to power
and should not have smashed
the Emperor of Russia's egg.
But I am anything but insane.
If the Household wish
to disobey me, so be it.
Let them do it
to my face.
I will see everyone
in the Durbar Room at once.
ALICK: Her Majesty the Queen.
I understand
there is some concern
over my desires on preferment.
I understand feelings
have run high.
And I understand
you have decided to resign,
rather than
withstand my decision.
If any one of you
wishes to tender
their resignation,
it will be accepted
without any unfortunate
But at least have the decency
to do it to my face!
Anyone wishing to resign,
please step forward.
I would like to inform you
that I have decided against
awarding any knighthoods
at this moment.
Instead, you'll be
delighted to know
that I have decided
to make the Munshi a Commander
of the Royal Victorian Order
as a special token
of my personal esteem
for his services
to the Empire.
That is all.
Your Majesty.
Your Majesty!
Your Majesty,
are you all right?
Dr. Reid! Dr. Reid!
Dr. Reid!
Dr. Reid, you must come quick!
No, no, not now.
Dr. Reid!
It's Mr. Mohammed!
Get that boy out of here.
Your Majesty, can you hear me?
Your Majesty?
All right,
let's get you up.
I'm so sorry, Abdul.
I think it's time
you went home, Abdul.
This is my home.
I've been
short-sighted and selfish.
You are a young man.
You have your whole
life ahead of you.
It's not safe here.
Your Majesty.
The vultures are
already circling.
How can I protect you
if I'm not here?
Your Majesty, you will reign
for many years to come.
No, Abdul.
I'm sick.
All these stupid
ceremonies will kill me.
You have been
a very good friend.
But you must leave me.
I'm your servant.
And as long as I shall live,
I shall be by your side.
Every single day.
Nothing will stop me.
Abdul, I am your Queen.
Your Majesty,
I'm your munshi.
And I will never
leave you.
You are a fool.
But I adore you.
I think you should
inform the Kaiser.
Abdul... Abdul...
BERTIE: It's me, Mummy.
And your grandson,
Where is my munshi?
The Kaiser.
I need my munshi.
Hush, hush.
Everything will be all right.
I want the Munshi.
Don't you dare
upset her.
I want to talk to
the Munshi alone.
DR. REID: I think perhaps,
Your Majesty...
I said alone.
When I was young,
I used to long for death.
Now, when there is
nothing to live for,
I cling to life
with every breath.
I'm scared, Abdul.
Don't be scared.
"Listen, little drop,
"give yourself up
without regret
"and in return you
will gain the ocean.
"Give yourself away
"and in the great sea
you will be secure."
You are a teacher, Abdul.
Everybody knows Rumi.
Allah is the teacher.
Love is the whole.
We are only pieces.
I keep thinking
I'm falling.
All will be well.
You are about to go
to a much safer place.
"The Banquet
Hall of Eternity."
my Queen.
Take care,
my sweet son.
DR. REID: Let her sleep.
Someone's coming.
I grieve to say
Her Majesty passed away
at 6:30 precisely.
Long live the King.
Out the way!
I want every last thing
that's connected to her.
MRS. KARIM: Abdul! Abdul!
I want you out of here.
Your Majesty!
Good morning,
Your Majesty.
How are you today?