Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Royal baby footman back in India after visa renewal fails

Badar Azim
Badar Azim

The footman who rose from a Calcutta slum to Buckingham Palace, and helped announce Prince George's birth to the world, has left the country after his visa renewal application failed.

Badar Azim, 25, escorted the Queen’s press secretary, Ailsa Anderson, as she posted the birth notice on the royal golden easel in the Palace courtyard when the baby - third in line to the British throne - was born.

 

Today he is back in India, after the Home Office refused to renew his visa, according to The Times.

 

A palace source told The Daily Mail: "Everyone here is sad that Badar is gone.

 

“He was popular and had clearly overcome such a struggle to get to Britain in the first place. He was just finding his feet.”

 

Mr Azim’s father and mother still live in the Calcutta slum where Badar spent his childhood, in a two-room home shared between nine members of their extended family.

 

When his moment of global fame arrived his mother, Mumtaz Begum, said: “I am feeling on top of the world."

 

His 20-year-old brother Mazhar tolf the Mail: “He acted very normal about it but it was a proud moment for him. My parents are so proud. They knew nothing about the British royal family before he got the job.

 

“They were really surprised. We did not know about any of it beforehand. We only read about it in the newspapers. My parents think Badar is blessed.”

 

He added: “We were an economically challenged family.

 

“Our parents let us boys sleep on the bed and they slept on the floor. But my father wanted us to go to a good school so that we could learn. He even borrowed money so that we could go forward.”

 

Mr Azim was educated at St Mary’s Orphanage and Day School run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers of Ireland, who later sponsored him to go to the International Institute of Hotel Management College in Calcutta.

 

He completed the third year of a degree in hospitality management at Edinburgh’s Napier University, graduating in June 2011 and getting a job as a junior footman at Buckingham Palace in February 2012.

 

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “We don’t comment on individual members of staff."

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