Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

20
OSBORNE

'Albert and I talked of buying a place of our own.'

'OH! IF I COULD ONLY DESCRIBE our dear happy life together, the Queen wrote in her diary at the beginning of November 1844. Even the prospect of having other babies did not so much daunt her now. Her only wish was that her 'great happiness' should last, her most fervent prayer that God would grant 'His protection of us together'. Two years previously, soon after Lehzen's departure, she had 'looked over ∧ corrected' some comments she had made in her old journals which 'did not now awake very pleasant feelings'. The life she had led then 'was so artificial'. She was ashamed to remember some of the things she had done and said and written, the pain she had allowed Lehzen to inflict upon Albert, the 'unbounded admiration and affection' she had felt for Lord Melbourne in her need to cling to someone, her working herself up into something which Albert thought 'became at last quite foolish'. 'I thought I was happy,' she wrote. 'Thank God! I now know what real happiness means!" 1

Albert was all in all to her, 'such a perfection, such an angel'. She hated to be parted from him, regretted so much that he was always so busy that she could not see more of him; no one, she was to tell her eldest daughter, could be as blessed as she was with such a husband: he was her father, protector, guide, 'adviser in all and everything; she might even say her mother as well as husband'. She supposed 'no-one was ever so completely altered in every way' as she had been by her dearest husband's 'blessed influence'. 2

-157-

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Queen Victoria: A Personal History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Author's Note and Acknowledgements xv
  • Queen Victoria's Prime Ministers xviii
  • Part One - 1819-1861 1
  • 1 - The Family 3
  • 2 - The Parents 9
  • 3 - The Child 17
  • 4 - Conroy 25
  • 5 - Progresses 30
  • 6 - Uncles 41
  • 7 - The Young Queen 53
  • 8 - Melbourne 60
  • 9 - Coronation 70
  • 10 - The Hastings Affair 76
  • II - A Pleasant Life' 85
  • 12 - A Headstrong Girl 90
  • 13 - German Cousins 98
  • 14 - Prince Albert 107
  • 15 - The Bridegroom 111
  • 16 - Honeymoon 120
  • 17 - Robert Peel 130
  • 18 - The Prince and the Household 137
  • 19 - Royal Quarrels 148
  • 20 - Osborne 157
  • 21 - Travelling 165
  • 22 - Balmoral 175
  • 23 - The Prince of Wales 183
  • 24 - Palmerston 193
  • 25 - Chartists 199
  • 26 - Pam is Out 204
  • 27 - The Great Exhibition 210
  • 28 - Scenes 216
  • 29 - Crimean War 221
  • 30 - Napoleon III 230
  • 31 - The Princess Royal 238
  • 32 - Indian Mutiny 248
  • 33 - The German Grandson 256
  • 34 - Death of the Duchess 264
  • 35 - The Disappointing Heir 268
  • 36 - Death of the Prince 276
  • Part Two - 1861-1901 283
  • 37 - The Grieving Widow 285
  • 38 - Seances and Services 293
  • 39 - Princess Alexandra 298
  • 40 - The Recluse 307
  • 41 - Disraeli 314
  • 42 - John Brown 321
  • 43 - The Royalty Question 331
  • 44 - The Princely Pauper 338
  • 45 - Typhoid Fever 342
  • 46 - Maids-Of-Honour 349
  • 47 - Secretaries and Ministers 353
  • 48 - Regina Et Imperatrix 360
  • 49 - The Half-Mad Firebrand 367
  • 50 - Golden Jubilee 379
  • 51 - Die EnglÄnderin 384
  • 52 - The Daughters 391
  • 53 - The Sons 396
  • 54 - The Grand Children 414
  • 55 - Would-Be Assassins 420
  • 56 - Holidays Abroad 428
  • 57 - Death of Brown 440
  • 58 - The Munshi 446
  • 59 - Diamond Jubilee 455
  • 60 - Life at Court 461
  • 61 - Dinner Parties 468
  • 62 - Books 477
  • 63 - Bookmen 481
  • 64 - Failing Health 484
  • 65 - Death 492
  • 66 - Funeral and Burial 495
  • References 503
  • Sources 523
  • Index 535
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