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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

The Queen hosts dinner to mark Aga Khan’s diamond jubilee

The reception at Windsor Castle celebrated the Aga Khan's 60 years as spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community

Queen Elizabeth II and the Aga Khan in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, during a reception before a private dinner to mark the diamond jubilee of the Aga Khan's spiritual leadership of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community. (PA Wire/PA Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and the Aga Khan in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, during a reception before a private dinner to mark the diamond jubilee of the Aga Khan's spiritual leadership of the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community. (PA Wire/PA Images)

Queen Elizabeth hosted the Aga Khan at Windsor Castle on Thursday night at a dinner to mark the diamond jubilee of his spiritual leadership of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community.

The British monarch was joined by other senior royals including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as she welcomed the dignitaries.

The Aga Khan was also accompanied by members of his family, including his brother Prince Amyn, his daughter Princess Zahra, his sons Prince Rahim, Prince Hussain and Prince Aly Muhammad, and his daughter-in-law Princess Salwa.

There are longstanding links between the two families. In 1957, which was the year of his accession as hereditary leader of the Ismaili community, the Aga Khan was given the title “His Highness” by the Queen. The spiritual leader was also appointed Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2004.

Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan began a year-long jubilee to commemorate the 60th anniversary of his leadership in July last year.

In January, he travelled to the UAE where he met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The pair discussed ways to boost co-operation on humanitarian issues and development projects needed in disadvantaged areas of the world.

He also met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and the Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister for Tolerance, during his UAE trip.

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The Aga Khan is founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a private development organisation which works primarily in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa.

The network aims to improve the lives of millions of people around the world, as well as to bring a wider understanding of Islam, and to foster brotherhood within the Ummah.

During the diamond jubilee tour, the Aga Khan will visit countries where the network operates to launch or advance social, cultural and economic development projects, including the development of hospitals, schools and universities that serve people of all backgrounds and faiths.

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