Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview
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'It has become his province to educate,
instruct and form the most interesting
mind and character in the world.'

AS THE DAYS PASSED people spoke of the new Queen with mounting enthusiasm. A large crowd stood in the courtyard of St James's Palace and cheered her loudly as she stood by an open window to hear the heralds proclaim her Queen and it was 'most touching' to see the colour drain from her cheeks and the tears well up in her eyes. She was cheered again quite as vociferously when she drove to the House of Lords for the dissolution of Parliament for the first time on 17 July 1837 and, later, when she went to the Lord Mayor's dinner in Guildhall. It really was 'most gratifying', she told Princess Feodora, 'to have met with such a reception in the greatest capital in the World and from thousands and thousands of people. I really do not deserve all this kindness for what I have yet done.'1

Charles Greville said that at her second Privy Council meeting she presided 'with as much ease as if She had been doing nothing else all her life.' 'She looked very well, and though so small in stature, and without any pretension to beauty, the gracefulness of her manner and the good expression of her countenance give her on the whole a very agreeable appearance, and with her youth inspire an excessive interest in all who approach her.' 2

Princess Lieven, not the most indulgent of critics, was much impressed by the contrast between her childish face and sometimes rather diffident smile and the dignity of her queenly manner. Lord Palmerston, the


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Queen Victoria: A Personal History
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