STORY: “They think I am still a little girl who is not capable of being a Queen.”
Lord Melbourne turned to look at Victoria. “They are mistaken. I have not known you long, but I observe in you a natural dignity that cannot be learnt. To me, ma’am, you are every inch a Queen.”
In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.
One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….
Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.
REVIEW: Kensington Palace – 1835
Victoria’s real name is Akexandrina, a.k.a., Drina, but she has chosen to call herself Victoria. Knowing her uncle, the King, is old and ill, she hopes to reach her 18th birthday before he dies and she becomes Queen.
Victoria’s widowed mother relies on Sir John Conroy whom Victoria detests. When Victoria gets typhus and is so ill, Conroy tries to get her to sign a document making him her Private Secretary. But she refuses to sign which angers Conroy. Victoria is determined to be strong and not be bullied by her mother, Conroy, and others.
Two years later she is now age 18. The King has just died and Victoria is now the Queen. She immediately shows her mettle and sets down her own rules insisting again that Conroy not be her Secretary.
Victoria finds that the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, is a great help to her and she trusts him. They form a confidence but when Lord Melbourne decides to step down from being Prime Minister, she is lost without his help and friendship. As a Whig, he feels he should step aside for a Tory. John Conroy is still doing all he can to gain some power and see Victoria removed from the Throne. When Lord Melbourne becomes aware of his plot, he decides to remain as Prime Minister and Victoria is pleased.
She decides to move into Buckingham Palace which is more befitting for the Queen. There she learns her duties and how to assert herself.
Her relatives want to pair her up with Prince Albert Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. It has been some years since she last saw him and did not care for him then. But, when he comes to visit her, she begins to see him in a different light.
This is a book that I have been highly anticipating for a long time now. I am a huge fan of Daisy Goodwin. The story is well written and I enjoyed it very much. However, I did not expect it to end when it did. I would like to read more about this very captivating Queen.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Connie for b2b