Thursday, December 14, 2017

Royal Etiquette for Afghan Prince

In 1895 the Emir Abdur Rahman Khan had intended to undertake a state visit to England, but his health prevented him from making the trip, and so he sent his son the Shahzada Nasrullah Khan, in his place. Nasrullah departed Bombay on April 29, 1895, with a group of priests for the observance of religious functions and high-ranking Afghan nobles – an entourage which totaled over 90. On May 23 the Shahzada landed at Portsmouth in England. He was received by the Queen at Windsor Castle, and during his trip he made a gift of £2,500 to Abdullah Quilliam to support the work of the Liverpool Muslim Institute, visited the Liverpool Overhead Railway, went to Ascot, Glasgow, and the Elswick Company Gun Range at Blitterlees Banks.

All who know Afghanistan were well convinced that neither the ruler, nor his heir apparent would leave their native country. As a matter of courtesy the invitation was addressed to the Ameer and the latter accepted it, “health permitting,” but from the first, all who are posted on the subject were confident that the Ameer would not leave Cabul. It was, however generally believed that the eldest son would represent his father, and it was somewhat of a disappointment when it was announced that the second son— who, by the way, is the child of a slave woman – would visit the capital of his father’s ally. Considerable difficulty as to the etiquette to be observed was felt, and until about a week before the Prince’s arrival it had not been settled how he was to be styled. As everything, however, has been smoothed over, the authorities are seeking to impress upon the young Afghan, the greatness of the British Empire, and by this means to confirm the Ameer to his preference for Great Britain over his near neighbor, Russia.

From the moment the young Prince— he is only 23 years of age— set foot on British soil he was received in right royal form and with every possible distinction. Addresses innumerable have been presented to him. He has been received by the highest officials everywhere, and his journey here was one long series of receptions. The Prince, as already stated, brought with him a large suite and detachment of Afghan troops. Being a Mohammedan, the religious peculiarities of the Moslem have had to be taken into consideration. Among his attendants are a number of cooks to prepare their leader’s food in accordance with Moslem customs. He has also in attendance upon him Colonel Talbot of the Foreign Department of the Indian Government, and T. A. Martin, the Afghan agent. Throughout his six weeks’ stay in this country the Prince will be received as the Shahzada (son of a King). He is attended by Royal escorts, has been received by the Queen, is received by Royalty, and will, in fact, have a Royal progress until his departure. – San Francisco Call, 1895

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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