At the time of the future Queen Victoria’s birth, ‘the excellent Mademoiselle Siebold’ emerged from the delivery room to announce the birth of a girl to the gathered dignitaries with considerable delight, adding in her thick German accent: ‘Verr nice beebee. No big but full. You know, leetle bone, mush fat.’
‘It was Mister Heath who frequently reminded his imperial pupils of the English saying that aristocrats are born but gentlemen are made.’
During her 63 year reign Queen Victoria acquired a wealth of these. Many were complimentary and affectionate, some were ironic or satirical, and others were downright rude…
In the 1900s, a Swedish-born pacifist and women’s and animal rights campaigner, Louise Lind-af-Hageby appeared regularly in the British press for her frequent run-ins with the medical establishment. But who remembers this remarkable woman now?
The cosy Dickensian Christmas referred to in Queen Victoria’s diary for Christmas Eve 1860, was in great part popularized by Victoria and Albert after their marriage in 1840. During the 21 years that followed they did much to set their own particular stamp on how the festival is celebrated in this country.