Rattling the Jewel in the Crown
In 1895, the despotic Amir Abdul Rahman Khan, nicknamed ‘The Iron Amir’ who had united Afghanistan through a reign of terror, espionage and retribution had intended to undertake a state visit to England to pay his respects to the ageing Queen Victoria. However, his health prevented him from making the trip, and so instead he sent his youngest son Prince Shahzada Nasrullah Khan to represent him in the court at Windsor Palace.
His aim was for Afghanistan to become an autonomous region, which would have allowed him to make foreign policy decisions and other matters regarding relations with countries that surrounded Afghanistan. The Queen refused because of the expansionist ambitions of Czarist Russia. Russia could easily have invaded the crown jewel of Great Britain, India by invading defenseless Afghanistan first. This was a risk she did not want to take.
Nasrullah being so upset, and in defiance of Queen Victoria’s rejection ordered his 100 plus men to take up arms and start shooting from every corner and window of Dorchester House where they were staying. As a result, London descended into chaos and very quickly after, the disgruntled Prince left London deeply disappointed and in disgrace.
Amir Abdul Rahman