Queen Victoria and Albert, the Prince Consort, had nine children who, despite their very different characters, remained a close-knit family. Inevitably, as they married into European royal families their loyalties were divided and their lives dominated by political controversy. This is not only the story of their lives in terms of world impact, but also of personal achievements in their own right, individual contributions to public life in Britain and overseas, and as the children of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort.
Of all Queen Victoria's nine children, none was more intriguing than her second daughter, Alice. The contradictions in her personality are so striking that, while she has often been overshadowed by her more illustrious brother, King Edward VII, and her brilliant sister, the German Empress Frederick, she remains to this day an enigma, the depths of whose character are virtually impossible to penetrate. By the time of her premature death at the age of only thirty-five, Alice had lived through two wars, had lost two of her children, and had exhausted herself in her devotion to duty to the extent that she suffered from disillusionment almost to the point of despair. Nonetheless, in the final tragic weeks of her life, she met unimaginable grief with courage and serenity, and her last words demonstrated her ultimate redemption and the beautiful restoration of all she had loved and lost.
Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort had nine children who despite their very different characters, remained a close-knit family. Inevitably, as they married into European royal families their loyalties were divided and their lives dominated by political controversy. This is not only the story of their lives in terms of world impact, but also of their own personal achievements, their individual contributions to public life in Britain and overseas and in their roles as the children of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. John Van der Kiste has made a particular study of British and European royalty. His previous books include William and Mary, Dearest Vicky, Darling Fritz, Kaiser Wilhelm II, The Romanovs, Once a Grand Duchess (with Coryne Hall) and Childhood at Court 1819-1914. He lives in Devon.
At the start of Queen Victoria's reign (1837-1901), children were treated the same as adults. By 1901 this had changed. People thought childhood was a special time and children should be treated differently. This book investigates the lives of Victorian children, especially those employed on the land, In factories and mines, and as chimney sweeps. it introduces people who worked to improve children's lives, and shows how schools were set up and became free for all children.
Prince Alfred, who was created Duke of Edinburgh in 1866 and became Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha in 1893, was the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. A patron of the arts, pioneer philatelist and amateur violinist, he joined the Royal Navy as a boy and rose to become Admiral of the Fleet. At the age of 18 he was elected King of Greece by overwhelming popular vote in a plebiscite, although political agreements between the Great Powers of Europe prevented him from accepting the vacant crown. The most widely travelled member of his family, he had visited all five continents by the age of 27, and while on a tour of Australia in 1868 he narrowly escaped assassination at the hands of a Fenian sympathiser. Married to Grand Duchess Marie of Russia, the only surviving daughter of Tsar Alexander II, at one stage he had to face the possibility that he might be required to fight on behalf of the British empire against that of his father-in-law. His last years were overshadowed by marital difficulties, alcoholism and ill-health, and the suicide of his only son and heir.
The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter
Author: Matthew Dennison
Publisher: Hachette UK
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Queen Victoria's favourite child - the true story of a royal mother-daughter relationship that changed history Beatrice was the last child born to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her father died when she was four and as Matthew Dennison relates Victoria came to depend on her youngest daughter absolutely, but she also demanded from her complete submission. It is an enthralling story, not just of a mother/daughter relationship, but of a Queen and subject relationship. Beatrice succumbed to her mother's obsessive love, so that by the time she was in her late teens she was her constant companion and running her mother's office, which meant that when Victoria died her daughter became literary executor, a role she conducted with teutonic thoroughness. She edited and bowdlerised her mother's Journals that cover 70 years and where possible her voluminous correspondence. Although Victoria tried to prevent Beatrice even so much as thinking of love, her guard slipped when Beatrice was 29. She met Liko, Prince Henry of Battenberg, and fell in love. Beatrice, however, did not end up simply as a wife and mother. She loved music and composed a military march which remains in the repertoire of British regimental bands, she sang and she painted. Matthew Dennison draws on extensive new material to restore Princess Beatrice to her rightful place as a key figure in the Victorian dynasty.
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (1853-84), is acknowledged to have been the most intelligent and probably the most interesting of Queen Victoria's four sons. He was the youngest and a strong-willed attractive character, with an immense thirst for life. He was also, however, the first haemophilia sufferer in the royal family and endured continual ill health; as if haemophilia was not enough, he was also epileptic. In this biography, Charlotte Zeepvat has drawn on sources to reveal a compelling human story which also touches on the wider worlds of late 19th-century Oxford and of literature, art and politics in the Victorian period. In particular, it examines the question of haemophilia and the royal family. There are many questions to answer, such as when did the Queen and Prince Albert realize their youngest son was ill and how much did they understand of his illness? Some of Leopold's early attacks were described as "rheumatism" - was this an attempt to keep the truth concealed or a genuine misunderstanding? The book also presents a full and balanced picture of Leopold's relationship with his mother. Letters already published provide snapshots of individual quarrels between mother and son but no one has yet considered the relationship as a whole. Finally it eamines Leopold's life at Oxford, the varied and interesting friendships he developed there (with, among others, Charles Dodgson - "Lewis Carroll" - John Ruskin and Oscar Wilde), his political views and the importance of his work as unofficial secretary to the Queen.
The secrets of Queen Victoria’s sixth child, Princess Louise, may be destined to remain hidden forever. What was so dangerous about this artistic, tempestuous royal that her life has been documented more by rumour and gossip than hard facts? When Lucinda Hawksley started to investigate, often thwarted by inexplicable secrecy, she discovered a fascinating woman, modern before her time, whose story has been shielded for years from public view. Louise was a sculptor and painter, friend to the Pre-Raphaelites and a keen member of the Aesthetic movement. The most feisty of the Victorian princesses, she kicked against her mother’s controlling nature and remained fiercely loyal to her brothers – especially the sickly Leopold and the much-maligned Bertie. She sought out other unconventional women, including Josephine Butler and George Eliot, and campaigned for education and health reform and for the rights of women. She battled with her indomitable mother for permission to practice the ‘masculine’ art of sculpture and go to art college – and in doing so became the first British princess to attend a public school. The rumours of Louise’s colourful love life persist even today, with hints of love affairs dating as far back as her teenage years, and notable scandals included entanglements with her sculpting tutor Joseph Edgar Boehm and possibly even her sister Princess Beatrice’s handsome husband, Liko. True to rebellious form, she refused all royal suitors and became the first member of the royal family to marry a commoner since the sixteenth century. Spirited and lively, The Mystery of Princess Louise is richly packed with arguments, intrigues, scandals and secrets, and is a vivid portrait of a princess desperate to escape her inheritance.
Victoria's Children of the Dark tells the story of Queen Victoria's invisible subjects—women and children who labored beneath her "green and pleasant land" harvesting the coal to fuel the furnaces of the industrial revolution. Following the real fortunes of seven-year-old Joey Burkinshaw and his family, Alan Gallop recreates the events surrounding the 1838 Husker Pit disaster at Silkstone, Yorkshire—a tragedy which led to better working conditions for miners. Chained to carts and toiling half-naked for 18-hour shifts in near darkness, children as young as four were employed by mine owners. Yet it was not until the catastrophe at Silkstone, when 26 children were drowned in a mineshaft, that Victoria and her subjects realized that many Britons were existing in virtual slavery. This powerful and dramatic account exposes the real lives and working conditions on nineteenth-century miners. This gripping human story brings history, particularly the history of childhood, to life.