Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Queen Victoria and Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace has four exhibits and I'll show you the first one today, the apartments of first Princess Victoria when she was a child and then later of her family when she became queen. The photos aren't the greatest because no flash is allowed, but most places don't even let you take photos so I was quite pleased to have any.


Victoria was born in this room in 1819. Some of her toys are on display, including this beloved dollhouse.













A dress she wore at age three, and a music box birdcage below it.


Instead of raising her daughter where she would have taken part in court functions from a young age and learned how to be a queen, her over-protective mother isolated her at Kensington with no friends and little to do. (When she became Queen, she had her mother exiled to distant apartments at Buckingham Palace, obviously angry with the way she had been treated as a child.)


She was allowed to read her first novel at the age of 18, a tragic romance by Sir Walter Scott set in Scotland. She chose this frock with her newfound interest in all things Scottish. The dress is tiny, since she was less than five feet tall.

At the age of 18, the king died and Victoria, with no preparation, was suddenly Queen of England. She was told of his death and almost immediately came downstairs to preside over the affairs of state in this room, at this table, for the first time.


Her desk










Young mother, young queen. Victoria fell head over heels in love with Prince Albert from Germany. After four days together at Kensington Palace in 1839, she asked HIM to marry HER! Their many letters to each other are on display and are very touching. They had nine children.



And, as she is more frequently pictured, a much saddened widow after the death of her beloved husband, age 42, from typhoid. She remained in mourning clothes for the rest of her life.



  1. Its a beautiful place to visit isn't it? You took some lovely photos.

  2. It sounds like much of her life was a tragedy, played out in real life. Thanks for sharing these pictures and the story, Cynthia.

  3. This is so interesting, Cynthia. Thank you so much for posting this. I've only mostly seen photos of her as a saddened widow. It's wonderful to see what it was like for her as a child and young woman. Still, that wasn't great either. How could she have been prepared for the duties ahead of her?

  4. Thank you so much for these glimpses, Cynthia.

  5. Victorian era is my favourite. and the Queen Victoria was the unique person. She was very wise but so strict.

  6. I loved seeing it through your eyes...thanks!! The dresses are charming:)

  7. When you see her personal belongings it is a surprise to see how small she was with such tiny feet and waist.

  8. Lovely post. Interesting women..The way you have told us is excellent.

  9. What a nice exhibit, I always like to see the personal items, as clothes and furnitures.

  10. I enjoyed this so much! So interesting, and you told their story in such a few words. Thank you.

  11. I love the story of Victoria and will watch anything on her I can find. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself x

  12. Hi Cynthia, English reader here, I have just read back and enjoyed your whole blog. Next time you come to England come to the :Midlands, close to so much Chatsworth, Hardwick Hall, York Minster and beautiful countryside, anyone who has walked Hadrian's Wall will feel at home here! I retired after 35 years working in museums six weeks ago but have somehow found myself with an interim role for the next year. However after years of working in London this new role is close to home in Nottingham which will be fun.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Heather. I do love the north of England and my future plans include more of it.
      Congratulations on your sort-of retirement. I'm hoping you have time soon to enjoy other activities, too. I looked at your blog but it looks like you gave up. Maybe now that your life has changed somewhat, you will have time for it. I hope so!