EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Culture & Literature
Victoria

Victoria

Victoria

Marking 200 years since her birth, this collector's edition from the makers of BBC History Magazine charts the life and times of Queen Victoria – from young princess to imperial majesty. Inside you will: ◆ Learn about Victoria's lonely childhood ◆ Explore her tempestuous marriage to Prince Albert ◆ Meet key people in her life, from family to ministers ◆ Follow in the queen's footsteps on royal tours at home and abroad ◆ Take a closer look at some of her great royal residences, from Balmoral to Windsor Castle ◆ Explore Victoria's role in the expansion of the British empire

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
Frequency:
One-off
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in this issue

1 min.
welcome

She reigned from 1837 to 1901, dominating print media in what was then the new age of photography. Today, our fascination with Queen Victoria shows no sign of waning. Hers was a long reign that witnessed dramatic changes in politics, society and industry, as well as the rise of the British empire. We remain intrigued by Victoria’s character and its contradictions: she was at once austere but romantic; feisty yet subservient; and a strong woman but one who fell apart at the death of her beloved Albert. Perhaps that’s why there are so many contradictions in historians’ understanding of the queen, something we explore in this special edition. We look at Victoria’s family and upbringing, and the factors that shaped the young princess, including new research showing evidence of a childhood…

8 min.
queen victoria

1819 Victoria is born Following Victoria’s birth at Kensington Palace on 24 May, her father (who would die just 8 months later) describes her as “plump as a partridge… more of a pocket Hercules than a pocket Venus”. The christening is low-key; her uncle George, the Prince Regent, allows only a handful of people to attend. At the time, Victoria is fifth in line to the throne; no one expects her to become queen, so she is given an unusual name for a royal: Alexandrina Victoria. 1837 Victoria becomes queen At 6am on 20 June, Victoria is woken to be informed that, following the death of her uncle, King William IV, she is now queen of England. The 18-year-old begins her new life as monarch by moving from her childhood home at Kensington to Buckingham…

11 min.
victoria’s misremembered youth

Family tree Victoria was born fifth in line to the throne but, as seen here, is responsible for today’s royal family Queen Victoria had a strong tendency to dwell on the past. Her journal and correspondence record her frequent forays into the events of her youth. Even her physical appearance during the last decades of her life betrayed her inclination to focus on earlier days. Her uniform of black silk dresses trimmed with mourning crepe, black silk stockings, black shoes and black-embroidered handkerchiefs reminded everyone that Prince Albert’s death in 1861 had suspended some part of her psyche in time. She marked special occasions with visual references to happier days. On her wedding anniversary each year, and during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897, she laid over her black dress the vast…

11 min.
love before albert young victoria’s suitors

Princess Victoria’s accession to the throne in June 1837 brought to a close over 120 years of male Hanoverian rule. Britain now had a young, pretty, virginal and untainted queen, just 18 years old. The press lauded her beauty, her precocious wisdom, her goodness and her self-possession in an outburst of ‘reginamania’ that swept Britain. In response, a mass of letters, some of them declaring passionate love and proposals of marriage, began pouring in from a succession of stalkers, admirers and would-be husbands who were dubbed ‘The Queen’s Lovers’ by the press. One of the first, Captain John Goode – whom the press described as labouring under the delusion that he was one day destined to possess Her Majesty’s hand – had begun stalking Victoria when she was still living at…

10 min.
the wedding “nothing could have gone off better”

“We are all going stark, staring mad. Nothing is heard or thought of but doves and cupids, triumphal arches and whit favours, and last but not least, variegated lamps and general illuminations.” This lament was published in the journal The Satirist during the frenzied preparations for Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert on 10 February 1840. Ever since their engagement had been announced the previous November, royal wedding fever had gripped the nation. Victoria had ascended the throne in June 1837, just a month after her 18th birthday. Youthful and apparently ill-equipped for her queenly responsibilities, it was not expected that she would rule alone for long. Yet she herself balked at the idea of taking a husband. “I dreaded the thought of marrying,” Victoria wrote. “I was so accustomed to having my…

14 min.
ruling in the family

Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert were passionate lovers with a mutual physical attraction – but with seemingly no understanding of family planning. The result was that they had nine children, born between 1840 and 1857. Albert, intelligent and ambitious, was determined to put this burgeoning brood to good use. He and Victoria were united in the desire that they should not just be a model, loving and happy family, but that they would also set a moral example that would redefine royalty and be the foundation of a dynasty that would stretch across Europe, bringing peace and harmony to the fractious continent. It was a noble plan, motivated by the highest ideals, and one that was to lead to the creation of the modern idea of the royal family…