Queen Victoria: A Personal History

By Christopher Hibbert | Go to book overview

54
THE GRAND CHILDREN

And there sat Grandmama not idol -- like at all,
not a bit frightening, smiling a kind smile,
almost as shy as us children.'

IN HER LATER YEARS the Queen much enjoyed the company of young children. One of her ladies, Marie Mallet, described how delighted she appeared to be when her fetching little son, Victor Mallet, was presented to her, and pleased in particular by the interest he took in a portrait by Landseer of Eos, Prince Albert's favourite greyhound. The boy himself, who greeted her with a confident 'Good morning, Queen', was 'charmed at once by her beaming smile and great gentleness of voice and manner', and highly pleased with a miniature landau drawn by a pair of grey horses which she gave him as a present. On a later occasion she 'laughed till she cried' when the boy, by then three years old, having made a very low bow on entering the room, went up to kiss her hand, produced a little black and white toy pig and announced, 'Look at this pig. I have brought it all the way from London to see you.' 1

Although she never outgrew her distaste for the whole concept and process of childbirth, the Queen endeavoured when she could to be present at the birth of her grandchildren, holding the hands of the mothers-to-be, murmuring words of sympathy and encouragement, and stroking their arms for hours on end. She nursed the babies on her knee when they were ill; and when they were a little older she allowed them into her room to play, preferably one at a time. 'Dear little things,' she said. 'I like to see them so at home with me.' She loved 'to hear their little feet & merry voices' when they came to stay with her. 'I must tell

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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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