Queen's Kolkata footman, who posted prince's birth, returns to India after visa expires

Last Updated: Wed, Jul 31, 2013 05:59 hrs

London: The Indian footman at Buckingham Palace who helped announce the birth of new British heir - Prince George - has left Britain after the expiry of his temporary work visa.

Badar Azim, a 25-year-old hospitality management graduate, who grew up in a Kolkata slum, was seen by millions posting the news of Prince William and Kate Middleton's baby boy last week on the official easel at the palace forecourt.

However, he was forced to leave his job at the palace at the end of last week.

He had been granted a post-study work visa which expired at the end of July, though he was reportedly eager to stay in the UK.

He has now left Britain, and is believed to have returned to Kolkata where his family live.

Buckingham Palace said it did not comment on the Queen's staff, and the Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases.

Azim graduated from Napier University, Edinburgh, in June 2011 with the help of financial help from St Mary's Orphanage and Day school in Kolkata, where he studied as a young boy.

He said, "If I hadn't gone to St Mary's I would be working somewhere on the streets of Kolkata. It would have been very difficult to get a job in India because unless you have a good degree you will not get a good job and a good salary."

He landed a job as junior footman at the palace in February 2012 and just happened to be on duty on the day Britain's newest prince was born.

He was photographed alongside Ailsa Anderson, the Queen's press secretary, on July 22 as he put the royal notice up to break the news of the royal baby to the world.

A post-study working visa used to allow those who came to Britain to study to remain for a maximum of two years to work in the UK, but the scheme was closed down in April last year and students could no longer apply from April 2012.

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