With the recent release of the Queen Victoria miniseries on PBS there has been an increased interest in Her Majesty. The Lady of Ashes fans are familiar from reading about Violet Harper’s acquaintance with Her Majesty that the Queen has many thoughts, spanning many topics. Violet asked that some favorites be shared here:
“The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.”
–Queen Victoria on whose opinion is paramount
“I don’t dislike babies, though I think very young ones rather disgusting.” –Queen Victoria on children
“You will find as the children grow up that as a rule children are a bitter disappointment – their greatest object being to do precisely what their parents do not wish and have anxiously tried to prevent.” –Queen Victoria on children
“An ugly baby is a very nasty object – and the prettiest is frightful.” –Queen Victoria on children
“After a good many hours suffering, a perfect little child was born…but alas! A girl & not a boy, as we both had so hoped & wished for.” — Queen Victoria’s journal entry, December 1, 1840, upon the birth of her first child, Victoria “Vicky” Adelaide Mary Louise, who would die in 1901, the same year as her mother.
“Being pregnant is an occupational hazard of being a wife.” –Queen Victoria on pregnancy. She wasn’t enthused about bearing children, although she did produce nine of them. She felt a little better about childbearing in 1848, when ether was introduced into the process at the birth of her 6th child, Louise.
On her husband Albert
“It was with some emotion…that I looked at Albert—who is beautiful.” –Queen Victoria on her future husband.
“The poor fatherless baby of eight months is now the utterly broken-hearted and crushed widow of forty-two! My life as a happy one is ended! The world is gone for me! If I must live on—and I will do nothing to make me worse than I am—it is henceforth for our poor fatherless children, for my unhappy country, which has lost all in losing him, and in only doing what I know and feel he would wish.” –Queen Victoria on the loss of her husband, Prince Albert, in December 1861
Thoughts from her writings
“I am most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Women’s Rights,’ with all its attendant horrors… Were women to “unsex” themselves by claiming equality with men, they would become the most hateful, heathen, and disgusting of beings and would surely perish without male protection.” –Queen Victoria in an 1870 letter to Sir Theodore Martin, in reaction to the news “that Viscountess Amberley had become president of the Bristol and West of England Women’s Suffrage Society and had addressed a…public meeting on the subject.” (Source: “All for Love: Seven Centuries of Illicit Liaison” by Val Horsler, 2006)
“Since it has pleased Providence to place me in this station, I shall do my utmost to fulfil my duty towards my country; I am very young and perhaps in many, though not in all things, inexperienced, but I am sure that very few have more real good will and more real desire to do what is fit and right than I have.” –Extract from Queen Victoria’s journal, Tuesday, June 20, 1837
“The danger to the country, to Europe, to her vast Empire, which is involved in having all these great interests entrusted to the shaking hand of an old, wild, and incomprehensible man of 82, is very great!” –Queen Victoria to Lord Lansdowne upon the start of William Gladstone’s fourth term as prime minister in 1892. The queen was not fond of Gladstone.
A collection of thoughts across many topics
“The Queen is most anxious to enlist everyone in checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Women’s Rights.’ It is a subject which makes the Queen so furious that she cannot contain herself.” –Queen Victoria on the suffragist movement
“Move Queen Anne? Most certainly not! Why it might some day be suggested that my statue should be moved, which I should much dislike.” –Queen Victoria on the moving of a statue of Queen Anne for her own diamond jubilee
“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.” –Queen Victoria on her temperament
“I would venture to warn against too great intimacy with artists as it is very seductive and a little dangerous.” –Queen Victoria on artists
“Dirty, dark, and undevotional.” –Queen Victoria on St. Paul’s Cathedral, 1872
“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.” –Queen Victoria speaking on the Boer War, December 1899