The extraordinary friendship between an elderly, ailing Queen Victoria and her young Indian companion, Abdul Karim, is chronicled in Shrabani Basu’s book, Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant. Lonely in the wake of the deaths of her beloved Prince Albert and John Brown, and increasingly isolated from the cocooning royal entourage, Victoria and Abdul formed a platonic bond, and to the dismay of her staff and son Bertie he became an empowered figure in her court and a friend close to her heart. In the film, directed by Stephen Frears, Dame Judy Dench portrays Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal plays Abdul Karim. Michael Gambon and Eddie Izzard are also part of the cast. The movie releases to theaters on September 22nd.