…Is how Queen Victoria, a 20 year old bride, often addressed her husband, Albert.
She said, “Albert is extremely handsome: his hair is about the same colour as mine; his eyes are large and blue, and he has a beautiful nose and a very sweet mouth with fine teeth; but the charm of his countenance is his expression, which is most delightful.”
I think the girl was smitten with her first cousin. Her mother and his father were brother and sister.
Yes, yes, inbreeding at its finest. But, the couple was really, really in love.
Victoria had grown UP watching her debauched uncles sire as many as 20 children with one mistress and watched her aunts turn into bitter old women while their husbands philandered their way through life.
She was having none of it. She was marrying for love or not at all.
So, she put her royal foot down and proposed to Albert. He could not propose to her, she had to do the asking since she was The Queen. They were married on February 10, 1840, 173 years ago today.
By all accounts, they were deliriously happy.
Her diary has kept us UP to speed.
Though she spent the evening after the wedding ceremony lying down with a headache, she wrote of her wedding night, ” ..I NEVER NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert…his excessive love & affection gave me feeling of love & happiness I could never have hoped to have felt before. He clasped me in his arms and we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really, how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband!… to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!”
They had nine children, all of whom were reared by nannies. Victoria didn’t like children, thought babies ugly, and viewed breast-feeding “with disgust”.
They were strict parents. Duty, honor, service were the key points of every conversation. Albert developed stomach problems in 1858 and 1859. Assassination attempts on the Queen, political problems, and his son’s affair with an actress continued to drain his health. He was diagnosed with typhoid fever by Dr. William Jenner, and Albert died on December 14, 1861. Modern historians have decided that the good Dr. Jennings was wrong, and Albert probably had Crohn’s disease or stomach cancer.
Victoria was devastated as her world revolved around him. She did not appear publicly for five years. The British, liking their royals on display, became disenchanted with Her Majesty, and Republicanism grew. It was nearly the end of the monarchy.
Her state of mourning led Victoria to wear nothing by black for the rest of her life. There were rumors of an affair with John Brown, a faithful servant, which again, regardless of that wonderful Judi Dench film, modern historians poo-pooh, telling us that Brown was nothing more than a kind man who served his monarch. There are however, people who will fight you over this. And, either way, she was a widow, she could have re-married, and it would have been no one’s business…but, I don’t think she did. She pined for Albert all her life. Brown just brought her some joy, which she should have looked for in her surroundings. I mean, after all, she was THE QUEEN!
At any rate, Albert’s death darkened every part of the Queen’s existence…she was truly heart broken because she was truly in love.
He was a friend, husband, lover, companion, supporter, and adviser to the Queen. His influence was seen every where – in morals, mores, politics, and architecture. He just died 20 years too soon.