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The christening of Queen Victoria

Unlike the christenings of Queen Victoria’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the christening of the future Queen is an event about which far less is known. It was not the subject of a painting, nor was much written about it as the ceremony itself was a strictly private one, by order of the Prince Regent. Much later, the many baptismal services which were performed within The…
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The Fitness-Empress

The spectacular beauty of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837-1898) was a reputation which, once created, had to be determinedly maintained. This was only achieved through rigorous beauty and exercise regimes, which she adopted as her personal discipline. The Empress, who…
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The beauty regime of a beautiful Empress

Empress Elisabeth of Austria was one of the most beautiful women of nineteenth-century Europe, yet this beauty was the determined result of intensive labour, at considerable cost. The cult of that beauty which astonished her contemporaries became Elisabeth’s personal myth…
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'My dear Grandmama': Queen Victoria's memories of her grandmother

Who was Augusta Caroline Sophia, Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld? Born a Princess of Reuss Ebersdorf (1757-1831), she was Queen Victoria’s ‘dear Grandmother’. In 1872, Queen Victoria wrote down a short memoir which survives at Windsor, which was reprinted in the three volumes of Queen Victoria’s published letters, edited by A. C. Benson and Lord Esher (1908). We do not know…
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Queen Victoria's Saloon

Queen Victoria’s relationship with the railway began on 13 June 1842, when she drove from Windsor to Slough with Prince Albert, to make the historic first royal journey by train to Paddington. This relationship would continue throughout her life and endure, even beyond her…
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Taking a look at Queen Victoria's Tea House

Queen Victoria wrote in 1867 of the peace at Frogmore, in Windsor Great Park, in ‘this dear lovely garden’.  By this point, she was six years into the widowhood, which would last until the end of her life. The gardens at Frogmore had a particularly sacred meaning for…
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Taking a look at Queen Victoria's Gothic Ruin

In the northern end of the gardens at Frogmore is a small building, the so-called Gothic Ruin. We know that Queen Victoria used her brick and tiled Tea House in which to breakfast, write, sit and take tea. She often worked outdoors on her papers in a tent set up close to the Tea House. The gardens at Frogmore were of profound emotional importance to the Queen, not only for the peace and…
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Queen Victoria's Royal Waiting Rooms

Queen Victoria’s last journey by train took place on Saturday 2 February 1901. The Great Western Railway produced a beautifully illuminated train plan for the ‘Funeral of Her Late Most Gracious Majesty The Queen. Arrangement of Royal Train. Paddington to Windsor. 1.32…
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When Mozart met Marie Antoinette?

The ‘meeting’ between Marie Antoinette and the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has a fabled quality, not least because of the oft-repeated folklore that has grown around it. From the point of view of posterity, it is a fascinating moment to contemplate, when two legendary (Austrian) figures were in the same room, their biographical futures lying still before them. I want to explore the facts…
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