Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Facts about Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria has one of the most interesting lives that could have gone so many different ways, and probably does in other Universes, but in ours, here are a plethora of facts you may or may not know about the girl, young woman, & Queen.


Facts about THE REAL QUEEN VICTORIA

The Early Years:

The Duke of Kent is said to have visited a gypsy and was told he would have a daughter who would become a great queen.

Victoria was born in Kensington Palace, daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent, 4th son of mad George III. The duke was always hopelessly in debt.

Her father died of pneumonia before her 1st birthday. She grew up in isolation.
Victoria, aged four

Painting by Stephen Poyntz Denning, 1823


Her father’s adviser, Sir John Conroy & mother attempted to keep Victoria from befriending any of the royal family, including King William IV when it became likely she would become Queen.

They tried their hardest to break her into an obedient daughter by never allowing her to be outside of their presence and constantly pushing her to make Conroy comptroller and adviser.

All her mother & Conroy’s efforts achieved was to make Victoria strong willed and stubborn.

While very ill, King William IV held on to life until Victoria turned 18, so her mother would not become regent. He died 26 days after Victoria became Queen.

Young Queen Victoria:
Coronation portrait by George Hayter
Victoria was not pretty, but in her youth she was at times considered ‘radiant’.

She took the throne at the age of 18.

She was the last monarch of England who actually had true power.

She came to rely heavily upon the advice of the First (Prime) Minister, Lord Melbourne.

She was the first royal to live in the Buckingham Palace.

To remove Conroy’s influence over her mother, she isolated the woman in a back room of Buckingham palace so Conroy would have no access to her.

Victoria considered remaining an unmarried queen, but then there would be no one else to take the throne from her family line except her despicable Uncle’s line.

She decided to marry the handsomest of her suitors, who happened to be a first cousin.

Because she was queen, she had to propose to Albert, rather than the normal procedure of the lady being asked.

 They had met when she was 17 but married when she was 21

 "Victoria Marriage01" by George Hayter - Royal Collection RCIN via Wikimedia Commons –

Victoria's Fertile Years:

During her first pregnancy in 1840, 18 year old Edward Oxford attempted to assassinate her. 

Victoria had 9 children in 18 years.


Victoria did not like babies, calling them ‘froglike’.

All her babies received their love and milk from a wet nurse.

Once the children became small humans, Victoria would talk with them.

Victoria was very hard on her children, holding them to a standard not even she kept.

Note their happy smiles in the pic below:
Albert, Victoria and their nine children, 1857.
 Left to right: Alice, Arthur, Albert, Edward, Leopold, Louise, Victoria with Beatrice, Alfred, Victoria and Helena
Caldesi and Montecchi (fl.1857-67) - Alexander Palace Forums; original in the Royal Collection RCIN 2106422

Victoria bought her husband nude pictures and a naked statue to improve his libido.

Victoria, per her diary, enjoyed sex greatly.

Albert, Victoria’s husband, did not care for his lesser role to the Queen and pushed for more say, not just in their private lives but in public as well.

Given she was pregnant, birthing, or recovering from a birth 18 years of their marriage, he took the opportunity to expand his influence.

Victoria's Greatest Loss:

Albert died early (1861) at 42. Despite a chronic illness (possibly Crohn’s disease, but diagnosed at the time as typhoid fever) he traveled to Prince Edward’s country home to scold his first born son about his inappropriate and too public love affairs. He died soon after returning to the Queen, and Victoria blamed Edward for her beloved’s death.

Even though Victoria longed to join her husband in heaven, she was determined to outlive her eldest son, Edward, so he could not take the thrown. She blamed him for the loss of her husband.

The queen went into mourning for 10 years where she filled none of her civic duties. Nor would she allow her eldest son to do so. In total she mourned her husband almost twice as long as their marriage. (Married 21 yrs, Mourned 40 yrs)

Victoria's enjoyments: 

Victoria enjoyed wine mixed cocaine drink later in life, recommending it to others.

Queen Victoria by Bassano
Victoria's Dislikes: 

Victoria did not like the Pope at all but insisted she cared about her catholic citizens.

Despite being the most powerful woman in Britain, possibly the world, she disapproved of ‘women’s rights’ and disliked suffragettes immensely.

Victoria used unusual methods to sway Parliament. In the late 1870s, she threatened to abdicate the throne 5 times in 10 months to force the new Prime Minister’s hand. Basically stating: If you will not comply with my wishes, then you can deal with my worthless son as your king.

Victoria did not approve of her eldest son, calling him immoral for his series of affairs yet she turned a blind eye to her cousin’s marriage to an actress who had 4 illegitimate children by three fathers.

Victoria also considered Edward to be lazy, even though she refused to let him become involved in royal work. Not surprisingly, the Parliament takes much power upon themselves before an untrained King Edward can take the throne.

The Queen constantly scolded Edward’s first born, Albert Eddy, for his ‘desolate lifestyle’ (We don’t know exactly what she objected to: his homosexuality, the doctors treating him for a venereal disease, or possibly she believed the woman from India who claimed Eddy had sired a bastard during his visit, or maybe it was something far worse...
Charcter of Prince Albert..."Eddy" by Vanity Fair 1888


Possibly the Queen's worst threat to England & the Crown:

Edward’s son, Albert Eddy and the young man's tutor, self-proclaimed misogynist and possible lover, James Stephens were considered possible Jack the Ripper suspects during Victorian times.

Albert Eddy had a severe learning disability and possibly a great deal of pent up anger between the turmoil going on between his father, mother, and grandmother.

The End of Jack The Ripper (Late1891) corresponds with both Albert Eddy & James Stephen's death. (Early 1892)

When Eddy died of ‘pneumonia’ and James Stephen died of ‘starvation’ 20 days later, finally Jack the Ripper stopped killing.  We are told it is a coincidence. Just as it was that the Ripper stopped killing when Eddy went to India, and began again after Eddy returned & could not marry Helene.

One final point of interest I found during my research: All but one of the women that were the common profile of Jack the Ripper kills had round dire faces like the Queen. The one that didn’t resemble the queen, oddly looks like Eddy’s mother.

UPON HER MAJESTY'S DEATH:

The Queen kept diaries throughout her life. Upon her death, her daughter transcribed what could be made public and burned the original books.

******

I wondered if Victoria ever regretted not sticking to her desire to never marry and run the country by herself. I imagine she would have been a very different Queen, had she done so.

Perhaps in a different Universe she did not marry and became a great supporter of women's rights and held firm control over parliament throughout her reign.  I wonder if it would have been a wonderful or lonely reign... 

But in any case, the Duke's Gypsy should have been warned him that his daughter should avoid anyone named Edward.


Liza O'Connor writes Late Victorian Mysteries and Romances.



Book 1
The Troublesome Apprentice



Book 2
The Missing Partner


8 comments:

  1. Add another fact - 113 year after her death - we Canadians still have a holiday in May called Queen Victoria Day. Fabulous post. LOts if fascinating facts.
    Tweeted.

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    1. I can see why you continue to celebrate her. She is very interesting.

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  2. Wow, Liza! When I read your posts, I feel as if I'm back in school I learn so much! Great job!

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    1. And this one didn't make you sad. I have to say, I never learned such interesting things when I was in school. It's only when I began researching that these fabulous tidbits revealed themselves.

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  3. I wonder how much of her decisions were based on pressure from her family. It appears that Albert had some sway with her.

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    1. Albert had a huge sway over her. She loved him with all her heart, and you know how that can change a woman.

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  4. Great post. Both the alternate universe and Jack the ripper threads make for some fun mind candy.

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