'I believe that Heaven has sent me an angel
whose brightness shall illumine my life.'
ON THE MORNING of 10 October 1839 Queen Victoria awoke in her bedroom at Windsor with a headache and feeling rather sick: the pork she had had for dinner the night before had disagreed with her. It was not a propitious beginning to her cousins' visit; nor was the news that some lunatic had smashed a few of the Castle's windows. She went out to get some fresh air, and was walking along a path when a page ran towards her with a letter. It was from King Leopold who told her that her cousins would arrive that evening.
Accordingly, at half past seven, she was standing at the top of the stairs to greet them. She watched them as they climbed up towards her, pale after a tempestuous Channel crossing in a heaving paddle-steamer, and she was immediately overcome by a coup de foudre -- Prince Albert was 'beautiful'. His blue eyes were 'beautiful'; his figure, too, was 'beautiful', no longer rather too fat as she had thought when they first met but broad in the shoulders with a 'fine waist'. All in all, he was so 'excessively handsome', his moustache was so 'delicate', his mouth so 'pretty', his nose 'exquisite'. He really was 'very fascinating'. He set her heart 'quite going'. Everything about him seemed perfect. He was just the right height, attractively tall as she liked men to be but not so tall as to emphasize her own diminutive size. 1
On further acquaintance he proved to be so 'aimiable' and 'unaffected', so clever, so graceful in his movements, so elegantly dressed. His voice was charming, his manner delightful, his red leather topboots so