s:victoria

A quiet Vicbourne mic drop from Queen Victoria herself

The above passage is from Queen Victoria’s diary of May 12, 1839, a day or so after Victoria’s epic game of chicken with Parliament over the resignation of Lord Melbourne and Robert Peel’s demand that she give up her ladies of the bedchamber who were related to the soon-to-be-opposition political party - known as the Bechamber Crisis - ended with the Queen prevailing. In her diary entries in the days previous she writes of asking Lord M not to forsake her (just as she does in Jenna Coleman’s TV series), and being distraught at losing him.

And then we get this little tidbit that survived the vetting process that saw much of Victoria’s diaries suppressed or even destroyed before publication. This is from The Girlhood of Queen Victoria, the 1912 collection of her diaries from the 1832-1840 era, which cover the months and years featured in the first half of Series 1 of Victoria. It was commissioned by her grandson, King George V. So as some historians still scoff at the notion of a 19-year-old queen being attracted to a guy in his late 50s who had the gall to take Victoria seriously and treat her with respect at a time when the notion of a female in any sort of powerful position was not only unheard of in recent times, but to some even offensive … well, here is Victoria R.I., describing out of nowhere (and this is hardly the only time this happens in this collection) a little detail about Lord M and how handsome he was to her. One can only imagine what she might have written about Lord M that either she or her heirs chose not to make public (the entries in the book are often noticeably truncated but the striking thing is until Prince Albert arrives on the scene virtually every entry from the day she becomes queen to the marriage is basically a recounting of things she and Lord M talked about.)

And occasionally there’s a little pearl that pops up like this. I mean, can you imagine Queen Elizabeth II making a similar note in her diary about Harold Macmillan?

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This is a great soundtrack and a great series.  As a lover of music, nothing is better than a great soundtrack.  I frequently used them in my classroom while students worked quietly.  They begged to hear them, which amazed me coming from teens.  (Student favorites included soundtracks from “Lord of the Rings,” “Dances With Wolves,” “The Patriot,” “Last of the Mohicans,” and “Gladiator.”)