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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'The Queen's Husband'.
'The Queen's Husband' by Jean Plaidy.This novel follows the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Albert, known as Alberinchen was the younger brother in the Saxe-Coburg Gotha family from Germany.His brother, Ernest was a year older. Albert was his mother's favourite and he doted on her. Unfortunately this 'happy' family were soon to disintegrate as their mother's extramarital affairs became known and she was forced to leave the family home. This effected the brothers greatly, particularly Albert who found his father's strict regime difficult to handle. As the two boys grew their grandparents helped in their choice of marriage partners , and so Victoria was presented to Albert as a possible suitor.They appeared to fall in love instantly. They were married in the Chapel Royal by the Archbishop of Canterbury and spent their honeymoon at Windsor.Albert, although happy was not as lively as Victoria . She enjoyed banquets and balls, Albert preferred a more sedate life.

'He feared his dear little Victoria was very frivolous. But this was not the time to attempt to improve her.'

As Victoria ruled the country as best she could, relying on Lords Melbourne and Palmerston , Albert was left with very few duties. Due to the world politics his nationality was not popular and many citizens were uneasy of his status. He decided to help with the running of the household as there were many flaws to correct. In particular when a boy managed to gain access to the palace through a broken window and remain there for several days, Albert knew he had to improve security.So his role as Prince Consort developed and he spearheaded many projects, in particular the Great Exhibition and the renovation of Balmoral Castle.During their marriage Victoria gave birth to nine babies,five girls and four boys. The oldest was Vicky, or Pussy as was her nickname. She was very bright and her father's favourite. A little precocious but highly intelligent. She outshone her brother Bertie, the Prince of Wales,(the future Edward V11) in everyway.Bertie had a difficult childhood, he was rather ungainly and took no interest in schoolwork , this infuriated Victoria and Albert . Consequently a series of tutors and governers were found for him but he showed little improvement.As Bertie grew into adulthood his misdemeanors grew more public,involving parties , drinking and liasons with many women. Counselling by his parents led to no improvement in his behaviour, and left a devastating legacy.

'God save sweet Vic, mine QueenLong live mine little Queen,God save the Queen.Albert is victoriousDe Coburgs now are gloriousAll so notoriousGod save the Queen.'

I enjoyed this novel, the first book I have read about Queen Victoria. In my opinion she was a feisty lady, she was regal and knew her word was law. Albert was her great love and she doted on her family , however Bertie remained a 'thorn in her side' . I wonder if his character was such due to the strict regime his father bestowed on him.
posted by mog/zetor



The tragedy of poor Prince Albert's mother would make a wonderful story in itself. Albert's father was notorious for his affairs and, shortly after Albert's birth, neglected his wife. It was only then that shook took refuge in the arms of a man whom she loved. Typical of the double-standards of the day, when her womanizing husband discovered this, she was thrown out of the house and never allowed to see her children again. She married her lover but with a few years died of cancer.Poor little Albert (only 5 years old at the time of her departure) never, I think, recovered from her loss. It made him withdraw and reluctant to show his feelings and also left him with such a horror of infidelity that played out so tragically on his son, Bertie...
The whole story of that entire family is so, so, so fascinating, isn't it?

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