Widow of Windsor and grandmother of Europe. Queen Victoria’s love story May 24 celebrates the 205th anniversary of the birth of Britain’s Queen Victoria 05.24.2024, 18:17

24 May was the 205th anniversary of the birth of Britain’s Queen Victoria. Reigned for more than 63 years For a long time this was the longest period for a monarch until the record was broken by Elizabeth II. and he went down in history as the man under whose rule the British Empire entered its golden age.

Queen Victoria is often called the “grandmother of Europe” – she had nine children who entered into marriage alliances with representatives of the royal dynasties of the continent. Queen Victoria’s two grandchildren married into the Romanov family and died tragically in 1918. The Queen’s daughter, Princess Alice, gave birth to the future Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (née Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt) and the future wife of Elizaveta Feodorovna, uncle of the Russian Emperor Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich.

Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Consort Albert, is not called the “grandfather of Europe” for some reason. But the love story of the spouses has been told more than once from the diaries and letters of Victoria and Albert. Their love was always considered passionate and unconditional – but judging by Prince Albert’s recently published letters, the queen’s married life was not easy.

“Sensitive mouth with beautiful teeth”

Born Princess Alexandrina Victoria, the future queen was raised under strict conditions as a child. When he was only 11 years old, his childless uncle, King IV. After William’s death, it became clear that he would inherit the British throne. Her mother, Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent, chose an educational system for her daughter that is today called Kensington: structured lessons, no play with peers, and constant adult supervision. Alexandrina Victoria’s only friend was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Dash.

As the heir to the throne approached her 17th birthday, the Duchess of Kent considered a future husband for her daughter and asked her brother, King Leopold of Belgium, to arrange a meeting between Victoria and Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. the son of their common brother, Ernst. The meeting took place – in 1836, the duchess invited her relatives to the 17th birthday of Alexandrina Victoria, where the future queen met her cousin Albert.

About her new acquaintance, Alexandrina Victoria wrote in her diary that he was “incredibly handsome.” In more detail – that the color of her hair is almost the same as his, “her eyes are big and blue, she has a beautiful nose and a very kind mouth with very beautiful teeth.” But the most important thing was that he had a helpful expression on his face. The princess sent a letter to her uncle Leopold thanking him for the meeting. “He has all the qualities that could be desired for my happiness. “He is very sensitive, very gentle, very good and also friendly,” she wrote. The future queen also spoke approvingly of the prince’s appearance, noting in her letter his broad shoulders and slim waist.

The following year, having barely reached her 18th birthday, Alexandrina Victoria woke up one morning as queen – her uncle Henry IV. William was dead. As an unmarried girl, she was forced to live with her mother but she sent her to the back rooms of Buckingham Palace. Marriage would have freed her from the company of her parents, but the queen rejected the idea, although she did correspond regularly with Albert, inquiring about his studies at the University of Bonn.

In October 1839 Prince Albert visited him again. Five days after her arrival, His Majesty proposed to her. Himself – because it was forbidden to invite the reigning person to marriage. “I told him I thought he was aware of the reason I wanted him to come. And that I will be very happy if he accepts my request (to marry me). We hugged again and again. He was so kind, so gentle, ah! “I feel loved and cherished by an angel like Albert,” Queen Victoria wrote about the moment of the proposal. Prince Albert was truly delighted to receive her, because, having already returned to Germany, he wrote to his bride: “It goes without saying that all my thoughts have remained with you at Windsor since our parting, and your image has filled my entire soul. “Even in my dreams, I could not have imagined that I would find such love in the world.”

“Heavenly feeling of love and happiness”

The wedding took place a few months later – on February 10, 1840 in St. In the Royal Chapel of James Palace. Although at that time the bride could choose a dress of any color, Queen Victoria appeared at the ceremony in a white silk gown with a long train, thus establishing one of the wedding traditions for the future. She was holding a bouquet of orange flowers in her hand, symbolizing the continuation of the family. On the bride’s chest was a sapphire brooch given to her by Prince Albert the day before. This brooch belongs to her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II. It could be seen above Elizabeth.

Regarding her wedding night, Queen Victoria left an enthusiastic entry in her diary: “Never, ever have I had such an evening! “My dear, my dear, my dear Albert… His infinite love and affection gave me a heavenly feeling of love and happiness that I never expected to experience.”

Her husband, who studied law, political economy, art history and philosophy at the University of Bonn, became Queen Victoria’s closest advisor and secretary. Prince Albert supported socially important projects in England, such as limiting child labor and reducing working hours. Believing that Great Britain should be an example to other countries in this regard, he advocated outlawing the slave trade, attracted Queen Victoria to charity, promoted science and art, and brought to England the Christmas tradition of his native Germany, which later became widespread. In the Christian world – decorating the Christmas tree on holiday.

Prince Albert turned out to be the most caring, caring father, who, among other things, played with children and held educational conversations with them. Albert’s eldest son developed a special educational program for the future King Edward VII.

“This tiny little thing led to an unpleasant scene.”

Although Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were real partners in business, the marriage was not cloudless. From 1840 to 1857, Her Majesty was almost constantly pregnant and hated the process of pregnancy, childbirth and everything connected with it. Today it is believed that she suffered from postpartum depression, as recently opened archives show that the queen often lost her temper and her husband scolded her for uncontrollable tantrums.

In 2019, an archive was also opened in the United Kingdom containing correspondence between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, from which one can understand the constant quarrels between the spouses: Her Majesty got angry over trifles and began to shout at her husband, who ignored his wife. She responded and then wrote him a letter explaining where he was wrong.

The Daily Mail newspaper referred to one of the episodes. A few months after the birth of their eighth child, the couple sat side by side and flipped through their scrapbook collection. “I filed a complaint because you accidentally mistranslated a few pages. This tiny little thing led to an unpleasant scene,” Prince Albert wrote. In response, Queen Victoria accused her husband of insensitivity. Thereupon, the husband stated that the accusations were “unfounded and unfair”, while his wife perceived this as a mockery. After this, Prince Albert refused to communicate with the Queen and she began screaming again. She later explained that she did not want to argue with “a man full of enthusiasm” and preferred to remain “deaf to his attacks”. “When I saw that the conversation had gone this far, I had no choice but to let you go. “To give you time to recover, I left the room and went to my own room, then you joined me to continue the argument and start all over again,” the prince wrote.

One of Prince Albert’s notes said that he was trying to forget the scandals in order to return to “a state of unity and sincerity.” However, the Daily Mail concludes that “these scenes” were never forgotten and questions whether Prince Albert truly loved Queen Victoria. But there is no doubt that he admires her passionately.

“As beautiful as marble”

Prince Albert died of typhus at Windsor Castle on 14 December 1862, aged 42. He was believed to have fallen ill after walking for several hours in the pouring rain and having a secret conversation with his eldest son Albert (the family called him Bertie) – his father went to see the young man in Cambridge after learning of his embarrassing episode. relationships with corrupt women. “I can never look at him without shuddering,” Queen Victoria wrote of her eldest son.

Her husband’s death truly plunged Her Majesty into despair – the next day she entered the room where his body was found twice more and wrote to her eldest daughter that Prince Albert was “as beautiful as marble.” But he didn’t look at her anymore; Going to her home at Osborne on the Isle of Wight, Queen Victoria locked herself there and could not even attend the funeral on 23 December.

The queen found herself without maternal support and support – after all, she did not even choose dresses without her husband’s approval. At first, she was torn between the sense of duty that urged her to return to rule the country and deep despair when she only wanted to go to her dead husband. She kept Prince Albert’s rooms as they were throughout his life; Linens were changed there, hot water was brought there in the morning, and flowers in vases were changed.

Queen Victoria kept Prince Albert’s plaster death mask and casts of his hands at her bedside. But she couldn’t look at the mask.

Immediately following her husband’s death, Queen Victoria violated one of his wishes. She asked him not to place “a single marble statue” in her memory if she died first. However, His Majesty ordered two full-size statues, several busts and figurines. Nine years after the prince’s death, in 1871, Queen Victoria opened the Albert Hall in London, and in 1875 a monument was erected in his honor on the site of the World’s Exhibition, which Albert had initiated.

Mourning for her husband, Queen Victoria did not come to London for several years, staying at Osborne or at Windsor Castle – people began to call her “The Widow of Windsor”. His Majesty’s isolation led to growing discontent in society. In March 1864, a notice was even posted on the gates of Buckingham Palace: “In view of the decline in the business of its late owner, this building must be vacated or sold.”

Uncle Leopold then advised Victoria to start making public appearances – and she visited the botanical garden of the Royal Horticultural Society in Kensington. She opened a session of parliament for the first time since her husband’s death in 1866.

Queen Victoria outlived her husband by 40 years – she died on January 22, 1901, at the beginning of the 20th century. The duration of his reign was 63 years and 216 days. He mourned the loss of his “angel” Prince Albert until the end of his life.

What are you thinking?

They were 17 when they were introduced with the hope of marrying in the future. The cousins ​​met for the first time and fell in love. In three years he will offer her his hand and his heart. Because she was Queen Victoria and he was Prince Albert. On the 205th anniversary of His Majesty’s birth, socialbites.ca tells an incredible story of love and sadness.

Source: Gazeta


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