Queen Victoria had conferred the dignity of Highness on his grandfather. Elizabeth II did the same for the present Aga Khan.
When the previous Aga Khan died the following letter was sent to Karim, Aga Khan IV, by the Queen's Private Secretary:
*On this sad occasion of the death of His Highness the Aga Khan I am commanded to convey to you the deep sympathy of the Queen in the grief which you and the Ismaili people in many lands share in the passing of your Holy Imam.
High Highness will be remembered by all the the wise guidance and selfless leadership which he has freely given during his many happy and eventful years. His energetic and devoted work for the League of Nations in a life dedicated to the service of his followers and to the welfare of mankind will long be remembered. In the arduous responsibilities which you will be called on the bear as leader of your people, her Majesty extends to you here sincere greetings and prayers that you may long fulfil your role as counsellor to the Ismaili community who owe to you their allegiance.*
Anne Edwards in her book *Throne of Gold: The Lives of the Aga Khans* (HarperCollins, 1995), states: *The new Aga Khan was English through his mother an carried a British passport. He was, therefore, a subject of the youthful Queen...To her he was the head the head of a large Muslim sect and to be respected as such.*
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