The documentary Victoria & Her Nine Children paints a detailed portrait of Queen Viictoria’s grief and how it impacted her children. I can’t imagine the BBC/Masterpiece series showing this stage of her life.
Here’s a few things I learned:
After Albert died, the Queen asked for her youngest child Beatrice to be brought to her. She made the girls dress in Albert’s clothing and sleep with her.
Victoria thought babies were like frogs.
Albert scolded Victoria that she should find a way to appreciate motherhood and not always be cross with her children.
Victoria regarded Bertie, her eldest son as her biggest problem. She blamed Bertie for Albert’s death. Albert was severely displeased when he learned that Bertie had slept with a jolly actress. She connects his passion leading to his father’s death.
After marrying off three of her children, Victoria continues to mourn three years after Albert’s death. Laughter and delight are not permitted. The queen continues to wear black and all the palace’s curtains are black.
Victoria’s least favorite child is Leopold who can do nothing right. She saw him as awkward and clumsy and she didn’t notice that that Leopold was actually suffering from hemophilia.
When chloroform was first used as a painkiller during childbirth, Victoria was delighted to use it. Her physicians saw this as wrong as the Bible states that women will feel pain in childbirth (Gen. 3:16). Of course, these men so problem with using chloroform when they need surgery.
Victoria told people that Louise was stupid and constantly criticized her. Louise went from being the petted youngest daughter, but when Beatrice was born she fell from this position. Her teen years were spent in mourning. None of the usual coming-of-age rituals were allowed.
The queen spied on her children and even after marrying controlled who they socialized with.
These poor children’s lives were lived under a dark cloud of mourning controlled by a powerful mother who’s psychologically damaged by grief. A mother with a venomous tongue who could shame and hurt her children.
The newspapers in 1840s got hold of the story of this guttersnipe, as the Duchess of Buccleuth calls him. How could a scamp who can penetrate the security of what was the home of the Queen of England not be newsworthy?
As shown in the drama Victoria (season 2) this boy broke into the palace and had the audacity to steal Victoria’s underwear. He’d poke around the library and even sat on the throne. At first the royals were lenient, but since the boy wouldn’t stop, eventually he was shipped off to Australia.
Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects in colors that begin with the letter S (e.g. sepia, steel blue, sapphire, silver, etc.)
If you want to see more Letter S photos, click here.
Jenna Coleman continues to win me over in Masterpiece’s (and ITV’s) Victoria. This week the main problem was poor Albert’s search for a role in the U.K. Naturally, he wants to be more than Mr. Victoria. The queen is aware of the problem, but at first missteps by calling him in for a project. He perks up but when he learns that he won’t be signing documents, just blotting them as any clerk could, he is disappointed.
Victoria’s worry is getting pregnant right away. She’d rather not, though she wants children in time. It’s a natural preference, but in those days not easily done. She receives some wrong advice about jumping up and down ten times after having sex. She does this for a while before Albert finds her and tells her it won’t work.
The big social issue of the episode is American slavery. English abolitionists appeal to Victoria to lend her support, but she wisely passes this off to Albert, who though gawky and nervous about his accent and his English agrees to give a speech against slavery. When that goes over, Albert gets some dignity.
I like this couple that often disagree, but always do with respect. It’s a complex relationship because of their cultural differences and Victoria’s position as a monarch, while Albert has no title, until the Queen figures out how to confer one without ruffling her uncle’s feathers. The Queen is certainly politically astute for such a young woman, which is fascinating.
If find I’m losing patience with the subplot with the ladies’ maid who’s supporting a woman and child. What irks me is that the information about her connection to them comes out so slowly. The mystery is too drawn out. I’d like to see that story speed up.