Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Scotland, near the village of Crathie, 6.2 miles west of Ballater and 6.8 miles east of Braemar. Balmoral has been one of the residences of the British royal family since 1852, when the estate and its original castle were purchased by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, it is not part of the Crown Estate. Soon after the estate was purchased by the royal family, the existing house was found to be too small and the current Balmoral Castle was commissioned; the architect was William Smith of Aberdeen. The castle is an example of Scottish baronial architecture, is classified by Historic Environment Scotland as a category A listed building; the new castle was completed in the old castle demolished shortly thereafter. The Balmoral Estate has been added to by successive members of the royal family, now covers an area of 50,000 acres, it is a working estate, including grouse moors and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, ponies.
King Robert II of Scotland had a hunting lodge in the area. Historical records indicate that a house at Balmoral was built by Sir William Drummond in 1390; the estate is recorded in 1451 as "Bouchmorale", was tenanted by Alexander Gordon, second son of the 1st Earl of Huntly. A tower house was built on the estate by the Gordons. In 1662, the estate passed to Charles Farquharson of Inverey, brother of John Farquharson, the "Black Colonel"; the Farquharsons were Jacobite sympathisers, James Farquharson of Balmoral was involved in both the 1715 and 1745 rebellions. He was wounded at the Battle of Falkirk in 1746; the Farquharson estates were forfeit, passed to the Farquharsons of Auchendryne. In 1798, James Duff, 2nd Earl Fife, leased the castle. Sir Robert Gordon, a younger brother of the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, acquired the lease in 1830, he made major alterations to the original castle at Balmoral, including baronial-style extensions that were designed by John Smith of Aberdeen. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited Scotland in 1842, five years after her accession to the throne and two years after their marriage.
During this first visit they stayed at Edinburgh, at Taymouth Castle in Perthshire, the home of the Marquess of Breadalbane. They returned in 1844 to stay at Blair Castle and, in 1847, when they rented Ardverikie by Loch Laggan. During the latter trip they encountered weather, rainy, which led Sir James Clark, the queen's doctor, to recommend Deeside instead, for its more healthy climate. Sir Robert Gordon died in his lease on Balmoral reverted to Lord Aberdeen. In February 1848 an arrangement was made—that Prince Albert would acquire the remaining part of the lease on Balmoral, together with its furniture and staff—without having seen the property first; the royal couple arrived for their first visit on 8 September 1848. Victoria found the house "small but pretty", recorded in her diary that: "All seemed to breathe freedom and peace, to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils"; the surrounding hilly landscape reminded them of Albert's homeland in Germany. The house was confirmed to be too small and, in 1848, John and William Smith were commissioned to design new offices and other ancillary buildings.
Improvements to the woodlands and estate buildings were being made, with the assistance of the landscape gardener, James Beattie, by the painter, James Giles. Major additions to the old house were considered in 1849, but by negotiations were under way to purchase the estate from the trustees of the deceased Earl Fife. After seeing a corrugated iron cottage at the Great Exhibition of 1851, Prince Albert ordered a pre-fabricated iron building for Balmoral from E. T. Bellhouse & Co. to serve as a temporary ballroom and dining room. It was in use by 1 October 1851, would serve as a ballroom until 1856; the sale was completed in June 1852, the price being £32,000, Prince Albert formally took possession that autumn. The neighbouring estate of Birkhall was bought at the same time, the lease on Abergeldie Castle secured as well. To mark the occasion, the Purchase Cairn was erected in the hills overlooking the castle, the first of many; the growing family of Victoria and Albert, the need for additional staff, the quarters required for visiting friends and official visitors such as cabinet members, meant that extension of the existing structure would not be sufficient and that a larger house needed to be built.
In early 1852, this was commissioned from William Smith. The son of John Smith, William Smith was city architect of Aberdeen from 1852. On learning of the commission, William Burn sought an interview with the prince to complain that Smith had plagiarised his work, Burn was unsuccessful in depriving Smith of the appointment. William Smith's designs were amended by Prince Albert, who took a close interest in details such as turrets and windows. Construction began during summer 1853, on a site some 100 yards northwest of the original building, considered to have a better vista. Another reason for consideration was, that whilst construction was ongoing, the family would still be able to use the old house. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone on 28 September 1853, during her annual autumn visit. By the autumn of 1855, the royal apartments were ready for occupancy, although the tower was still under construction and the servants had to be lodged in the old house. By coincidence, sh
Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll
Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, was the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In her public life, she was a strong proponent of the arts and higher education and of the feminist cause, her early life was spent moving among the various royal residences in the company of her family. When her father, the prince consort, died on 14 December 1861, the court went into a long period of mourning, to which with time Louise became unsympathetic. Louise was an able sculptor and artist, several of her sculptures remain today, she was a supporter of the feminist movement, corresponding with Josephine Butler, visiting Elizabeth Garrett. Before her marriage, from 1866 to 1871, Louise served as an unofficial secretary to her mother, the Queen; the question of Louise's marriage was discussed in the late 1860s. Suitors from the royal houses of Prussia and Denmark were suggested, but Victoria did not want her to marry a foreign prince, therefore suggested a high-ranking member of the British aristocracy.
Despite opposition from members of the royal family, Louise fell in love with John, Marquess of Lorne, the heir of the Duke of Argyll. Victoria consented to the marriage, which took place on 21 March 1871. Despite a happy beginning, the two drifted apart because of their childlessness and the queen's constraints on their activities. In 1878, Lorne was appointed Governor General of Canada, a post he held 1878–1884. Louise was viceregal consort, her names were used to name many features in Canada. Following Victoria's death in 1901, Louise entered the social circle established by her brother, the new king, Edward VII. Louise's marriage survived thanks to long periods of separation. After the end of the First World War in 1918, at the age of 70, she began to retire from public life, undertaking few public duties outside Kensington Palace, where she died at the age of 91. Louise was born on 18 March 1848 at London, she was the fourth daughter and sixth child of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Her birth coincided with revolutions which swept across Europe, prompting the queen to remark that Louise would turn out to be "something peculiar". The queen's labour with Louise was the first to be aided with chloroform. Albert and Victoria chose the names Louisa Caroline Alberta, she was baptized on 13 May 1848 in Buckingham Palace's private chapel by John Bird Sumner, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Though she was christened Louisa at the service, she was invariably known as Louise throughout her life, her godparents were Duke Gustav of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. During the ceremony, the Duchess of Gloucester, one of the few children of King George III, still alive, forgot where she was, got up in the middle of the service and knelt at the queen's feet, much to the queen's horror. Like her siblings, Louise was brought up with the strict programme of education devised by her father, Prince Albert, his friend and confidant, Baron Stockmar; the young children were taught practical tasks, such as cooking, household tasks and carpentry.
From her early years, Louise was a talented and intelligent child, her artistic talents were recognised. On his visit to Osborne House in 1863, Hallam Tennyson, the son of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, remarked that Louise could "draw beautifully"; because of her royal rank, an artistic career was not considered. However, the queen first allowed her to attend art school under the tutelage of the sculptor Mary Thornycroft, allowed her to study at the National Art Training School, now The Royal College of Art. South Kensington. Louise became an able dancer, Victoria wrote, after a dance, that Louise "danced the sword dance with more verve and accuracy than any of her sisters", her wit and intelligence made her a favourite with her father, with her inquisitive nature earning her the nickname "Little Miss Why" from other members of the royal family. Louise's father, Prince Albert, died at Windsor on 14 December 1861; the queen was devastated, ordered her household to move from Windsor to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
The atmosphere of the royal court became gloomy and morbid in the wake of the prince's death, entertainments became dry and dull. Louise became dissatisfied with her mother's prolonged mourning. For her seventeenth birthday in 1865, Louise requested the ballroom to be opened for a debutante dance, the like of which had not been performed since Prince Albert's death, her request was refused, her boredom with the mundane routine of travelling between the different royal residences at set times irritated her mother, who considered Louise to be indiscreet and argumentative. The queen comforted herself by rigidly continuing with Prince Albert's plans for their children. Princess Alice was married to Prince Louis, the future Grand Duke of Hesse, at Osborne on 1 June 1862. In 1863, the Prince of Wales, married Princess Alexandra of Denmark; the queen made it a tradition that the eldest unmarried daughter would become her unofficial secretary, a position which Louise filled in 1866, despite the queen's concern that she was indiscreet.
Louise, proved to be good at the job: Victoria wrote shortly afterwards: "She is a clever de
Frederick III, German Emperor
Frederick III was German Emperor and King of Prussia for ninety-nine days in 1888, the Year of the Three Emperors. Known informally as "Fritz", he was the only son of Emperor Wilhelm I and was raised in his family's tradition of military service. Although celebrated as a young man for his leadership and successes during the Second Schleswig, Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars, he professed a hatred of warfare and was praised by friends and enemies alike for his humane conduct. Following the unification of Germany in 1871 his father King of Prussia, became the German Emperor. Upon Wilhelm's death at the age of ninety on 9 March 1888, the thrones passed to Frederick, who had by been German Crown Prince for seventeen years and Crown Prince of Prussia for twenty-seven years. Frederick was suffering from cancer of the larynx when he died, aged fifty-six, following unsuccessful medical treatments for his condition. Frederick married Victoria, Princess Royal, eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
The couple were well-matched. Frederick, in spite of his conservative militaristic family background, had developed liberal tendencies as a result of his ties with Britain and his studies at the University of Bonn; as the Crown Prince, he opposed the conservative Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in speaking out against Bismarck's policy of uniting Germany through force, in urging that the power of the Chancellorship be curbed. Liberals in both Germany and Britain hoped that as emperor, Frederick III would move to liberalize the German Empire. Frederick and Victoria were great admirers of Queen Victoria's husband, they planned to rule as consorts, like Albert and Queen Victoria, to reform what they saw as flaws in the executive branch that Bismarck had created for himself. The office of Chancellor, responsible to the Emperor, would be replaced with a British-style cabinet, with ministers responsible to the Reichstag. Government policy would be based on the consensus of the cabinet. Frederick "described the Imperial Constitution as ingeniously contrived chaos."
The Crown Prince and Princess shared the outlook of the Progressive Party, Bismarck was haunted by the fear that should the old Emperor die—and he was now in his seventies—they would call on one of the Progressive leaders to become Chancellor. He sought to guard against such a turn by keeping the Crown Prince from a position of any influence and by using foul means as well as fair to make him unpopular. However, his illness prevented him from establishing policies and measures to achieve this, such moves as he was able to make were abandoned by his son and successor, Wilhelm II; the timing of Frederick's death and the length of his reign are important topics among historians. The premature demise of Frederick III is considered a potential turning point in German history. Frederick William was born in the New Palace at Potsdam in Prussia on 18 October 1831, he was a scion of the House of Hohenzollern, rulers of Prussia the most powerful of the German states. Frederick's father, Prince William, was a younger brother of King Frederick William IV and, having been raised in the military traditions of the Hohenzollerns, developed into a strict disciplinarian.
William fell in love with his cousin Elisa Radziwill, a princess of the Polish nobility, but his parents felt Elisa's rank was not suitable for the bride of a Prussian prince and forced a more suitable match. The woman selected to be his wife, Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar, had been raised in the more intellectual and artistic atmosphere of Weimar, which gave its citizens greater participation in politics and limited the powers of its rulers through a constitution; because of their differences, the couple did not have a happy marriage and, as a result, Frederick grew up in a troubled household, which left him with memories of a lonely childhood. He had one sister, eight years his junior and close to him. Frederick had a good relationship with his uncle, King Frederick William IV, called "the romantic on the throne". Frederick grew up during a tumultuous political period as the concept of liberalism in Germany, which evolved during the 1840s, was gaining widespread and enthusiastic support.
The liberals sought a unified Germany and were constitutional monarchists who desired a constitution to ensure equal protection under the law, the protection of property, the safeguarding of basic civil rights. Overall, the liberals desired; when Frederick was 17, these emergent nationalistic and liberal sentiments sparked a series of political uprisings across the German states and elsewhere in Europe. In Germany, their goal was to protect freedoms, such as the freedom of assembly and freedom of the press, to create a German parliament and constitution. Although the uprisings brought about no lasting changes, liberal sentiments remained an influential force in German politics throughout Frederick's life. Despite the value placed by the Hohenzollern family on a traditional military education, Augusta insisted that her son receive a classical education. Accordingly, Frederick was tutored in both military traditions and the liberal arts, his private tutor was a famous archaeologist. Frederick was a talented student good at foreign languages, becoming fluent in English and French, studying Lati
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He served as the Governor General of Canada, the tenth since Canadian Confederation and the only British prince to do so. In 1910 he was appointed Grand Prior of the Order of St John and held this position until 1939. Arthur was educated by private tutors before entering the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich at the age of 16. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the British Army, where he served for some 40 years, seeing service in various parts of the British Empire. During this time he was created a royal duke, becoming the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, as well as the Earl of Sussex. In 1911, he was appointed as Governor General of Canada, he occupied this post until he was succeeded by the Duke of Devonshire in 1916. He acted as the King's, thus the Canadian Commander-in-Chief's, representative through the first years of the First World War. After the end of his viceregal tenure, Arthur returned to the United Kingdom and there, as well as in India, performed various royal duties, while again taking up military duties.
Though he retired from public life in 1928, he continued to make his presence known in the army well into the Second World War, before his death in 1942. He was Queen Victoria's last surviving son. Arthur was born at Buckingham Palace on 1 May 1850, the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; the prince was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Bird Sumner, on 22 June in the palace's private chapel. His godparents were Prince William of Prussia; as with his older brothers, Arthur received his early education from private tutors. It was reported, it was at an early age that Arthur developed an interest in the army, in 1866 he followed through on his military ambitions by enrolling at the Royal Military College at Woolwich, from where he graduated two years and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Corps of Royal Engineers on 18 June 1868. The Prince transferred to the Royal Regiment of Artillery on 2 November 1868 and, on 2 August 1869, to the Rifle Brigade, his father's own regiment, after which he conducted a long and distinguished career as an army officer, including service in South Africa, Canada in 1869, Egypt in 1882, in India from 1886 to 1890.
In Canada, Arthur, as an officer with the Montreal detachment of the Rifle Brigade, undertook a year's training and engaged in defending the Dominion from the Fenian Raids. Following his arrival at Halifax, Arthur toured the country for eight weeks and made a visit in January 1870 to Washington, D. C. where he met with President Ulysses S. Grant. During his service in Canada he was entertained by Canadian society, it was not, all social and state functions for Arthur. Arthur made an impression on many in Canada, he was given on 1 October 1869 the title Chief of the Six Nations by the Iroquois of the Grand River Reserve in Ontario and the name Kavakoudge, enabling him to sit in the tribe's councils and vote on matters of tribe governance. As he became the 51st chief on the council, his appointment broke the centuries-old tradition that there should only be 50 chiefs of the Six Nations. Of the Prince, Lady Lisgar, wife of Governor General of Canada the Lord Lisgar, noted in a letter to Victoria that Canadians seemed hopeful Prince Arthur would one day return as governor general.
Arthur was promoted to the honorary rank of colonel on 14 June 1871, substantive lieutenant-colonel in 1876, colonel on 29 May 1880 and, on 1 April 13 years was made a general. He gained military experience as Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Army from December 1886 to March 1890, he went on to be General Officer Commanding Southern District, at Portsmouth, from September 1890 to 1893. The Prince had hoped to succeed his first cousin once-removed, the elderly Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, as Commander-in-chief of the British Army, upon the latter's forced retirement in 1895, but this desire was denied to Arthur, instead he was given, between 1893 and 1898, command of the Aldershot District Command. In August 1899 the 6th Battalion, Rifles of the Canadian Non-Permanent Active Militia, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, asked Prince Arthur to give his name to the regiment and act as its honorary colonel; the regiment had been converted to the infantry role from the 2nd Battalion, 5th British Columbia Regiment of Canadian Artillery.
With the Prince's agreement the unit was renamed 6th Regiment, Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles on 1 May 1900. He was subsequently appointed colonel-in-chief of the regiment k
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Edward was related to royalty throughout Europe, he was heir apparent to the British throne and held the title of Prince of Wales for longer than any of his predecessors. He was heir presumptive to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha until before his marriage he renounced his right to the duchy, which devolved to his younger brother Alfred. During the long reign of his mother, he was excluded from political power, came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite, he travelled throughout Britain performing ceremonial public duties, represented Britain on visits abroad. His tours of North America in 1860 and the Indian subcontinent in 1875 were popular successes, but despite public approval his reputation as a playboy prince soured his relationship with his mother; as king, Edward played a role in the modernisation of the British Home Fleet and the reorganisation of the British Army after the Second Boer War.
He reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialised. He fostered good relations between Britain and other European countries France, for which he was popularly called "Peacemaker", but his relationship with his nephew, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was poor; the Edwardian era, which covered Edward's reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society, including steam turbine propulsion and the rise of socialism. He died in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis, resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911, which restricted the power of the unelected House of Lords. Edward was born at 10:48 in the morning on 9 November 1841 in Buckingham Palace, he was the eldest son and second child of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was christened Albert Edward at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 25 January 1842.
He was named Albert after his father and Edward after his maternal grandfather Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. He was known as Bertie to the royal family throughout his life; as the eldest son of the British sovereign, he was automatically Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay at birth. As a son of Prince Albert, he held the titles of Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Saxony, he was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 8 December 1841, Earl of Dublin on 10 September 1849 or 17 January 1850, a Knight of the Garter on 9 November 1858, a Knight of the Thistle on 24 May 1867. In 1863, he renounced his succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in favour of his younger brother, Prince Alfred. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were determined that their eldest son should have an education that would prepare him to be a model constitutional monarch. At age seven, Edward embarked on a rigorous educational programme devised by Prince Albert, supervised by several tutors.
Unlike his elder sister Victoria, Edward did not excel in his studies. He to no avail. Although Edward was not a diligent student—his true talents were those of charm and tact—Benjamin Disraeli described him as informed, intelligent and of sweet manner. After the completion of his secondary-level studies, his tutor was replaced by a personal governor, Robert Bruce. After an educational trip to Rome, undertaken in the first few months of 1859, he spent the summer of that year studying at the University of Edinburgh under, among others, the chemist Lyon Playfair. In October, he matriculated as an undergraduate at Oxford. Now released from the educational strictures imposed by his parents, he enjoyed studying for the first time and performed satisfactorily in examinations. In 1861, he transferred to Trinity College, where he was tutored in history by Charles Kingsley, Regius Professor of Modern History. Kingsley's efforts brought forth the best academic performances of Edward's life, Edward looked forward to his lectures.
In 1860, Edward undertook the first tour of North America by a Prince of Wales. His genial good humour and confident bonhomie made the tour a great success, he inaugurated the Victoria Bridge, across the St Lawrence River, laid the cornerstone of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. He watched Charles Blondin traverse Niagara Falls by highwire, stayed for three days with President James Buchanan at the White House. Buchanan accompanied the Prince to Mount Vernon, to pay his respects at the tomb of George Washington. Vast crowds greeted him everywhere, he met Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Prayers for the royal family were said in Trinity Church, New York, for the first time since 1776; the four-month tour throughout Canada and the United States boosted Edward's confidence and self-esteem, had many diplomatic benefits for Great Britain. Edward had hoped to pursue a career in the British Army, but his mother vetoed an active military career, he had been gazetted colonel on 9 November 1858—to his disappointment, as he had wanted to earn his commission by examination.
In September 1861, Edward was sent to Germany to watch military manoeuvres, but in order to engineer a meeting between him and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the eldest daughter of Prince Christian of Denmark and his wife Louise. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had decided that Edward and Alexandra should marry, they met at Speyer on 24 September under the auspices of his elder sister, who ha
Victoria, Princess Royal
Victoria, Princess Royal was German Empress and Queen of Prussia by marriage to German Emperor Frederick III. She was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was created Princess Royal in 1841, she was the mother of German Emperor. Educated by her father in a politically liberal environment, she was betrothed at the age of sixteen to Prince Frederick of Prussia and supported him in his views that Prussia and the German Empire should become a constitutional monarchy on the British model. Criticised for this attitude and for her English origins, Victoria suffered ostracism by the Hohenzollerns and the Berlin court; this isolation increased after the arrival of Otto von Bismarck to power in 1862. Victoria was empress and queen of Prussia for only a few months, during which she had opportunity to influence the policy of the German Empire. Frederick III died in 1888 – just 99 days after his accession – from laryngeal cancer and was succeeded by their son William II, who had much more conservative views than his parents.
After her husband's death, she became known as Empress Frederick. The empress dowager settled in Kronberg im Taunus, where she built Friedrichshof, a castle, named in honour of her late husband. Isolated after the weddings of her younger daughters, Victoria died of breast cancer a few months after her mother in 1901; the correspondence between Victoria and her parents has been preserved completely: 3,777 letters from Queen Victoria to her eldest daughter, about 4,000 letters from the empress to her mother are preserved and catalogued. These give a detailed insight into the life of the Prussian court between 1858 and 1900. Princess Victoria was born on 21 November 1840 at London, she was her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. When she was born, the doctor exclaimed sadly: "Oh Madame, it's a girl!" And the Queen replied: "Never mind, next time it will be a prince!". She was baptised in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace on 10 February 1841 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Howley.
The Lily font was commissioned for the occasion of her christening. Her godparents were Queen Adelaide, the King of the Belgians, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Duke of Sussex, the Duchess of Gloucester and the Duchess of Kent; as a daughter of the sovereign, Victoria was born a British princess. On 19 January 1841, she was made Princess Royal, a title sometimes conferred on the eldest daughter of the sovereign. In addition, she was heir presumptive to the throne of the United Kingdom, before the birth of her younger brother Prince Albert Edward on 9 November 1841. To her family, she was known as "Vicky"; the royal couple decided to give their children as complete an education as possible. In fact, Queen Victoria, who succeeded her uncle King William IV at the age of 18, believed that she herself had not been sufficiently prepared for the government affairs. For his part, Prince Albert, born in the small Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, had received a more careful education, thanks to his uncle King Leopold I of Belgium.
Shortly after the birth of Victoria, Prince Albert wrote a memoir detailing the tasks and duties of all those involved with the royal children. Another 48-page document, written a year and a half by the Baron Stockmar, intimate of the royal couple, details the educational principles which were to be used with the little princes; the royal couple, had only a vague idea of the proper educational development of a child. Queen Victoria, for example, believed that the fact that her baby sucked on bracelets was a sign of deficient education. According to Hannah Pakula, biographer of the future German empress, the first two governesses of the princess were therefore well chosen. Experienced in dealing with children, Lady Lyttelton directed the nursery through which passed all royal children after Victoria's second year; the diplomatic young woman managed to soften the unrealistic demands of the royal couple. Sarah Anne Hildyard, the children's second governess, was a competent teacher who developed a close relationship with her students.
Precocious and intelligent, Victoria began to learn French at the age of 18 months, she began to study German when aged four. She learned Greek and Latin. From the age of six, her curriculum included lessons of arithmetic and history, her father tutored her in politics and philosophy, she studied science and literature. Her school days, interrupted by three hours of recreation, began at 8:20 and finished at 18:00. Unlike her brother, whose educational program was more severe, Victoria was an excellent student, always hungry for knowledge. However, she showed an obstinate character. Queen Victoria and her husband wanted to remove their children from court life as much as possible, so they acquired Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Near the main building, Albert built for his children a Swiss-inspired cottage with a small kitchen and a carpentry workshop. In this building, the royal children learned practical life. Prince Albert was involved in the education of their offspring, he followed the progress of his children and gave some of their lessons himself, as well as spending time playing with them.
Victoria is described as having "idolised" her father and having inherited his li
John Brown (servant)
John Brown was a Scottish personal attendant and favourite of Queen Victoria for many years. He was appreciated by many for his competence and companionship, resented by others for his influence and informal manner; the exact nature of his relationship with Victoria was the subject of great speculation by contemporaries and continues to be controversial today. Brown was born on 8 December 1826 at Crathienaird and Braemar Aberdeenshire, to Margaret Leys and John Brown, went to work as an outdoor servant at Balmoral Castle, which Queen Victoria and Prince Albert leased in February 1848, purchased outright in November 1851. Brown had several younger brothers and a sister, three of whom entered the royal service, his brother Archibald Anderson "Archie" Brown, 15 years John's junior became personal valet to Victoria's youngest son, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany. Prince Albert's untimely death in 1861 was a shock from which Queen Victoria never recovered. John Brown supported the Queen. Victoria gave him gifts and created two medals for him, the Faithful Servant Medal and the Devoted Service Medal.
She commissioned a portrait of him. Victoria's children and ministers resented the high regard she had for Brown, stories circulated that there was something improper in their relationship; the Queen's daughters joked that Brown was "Mama's lover", while Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby, wrote in his diary that Brown and Victoria slept in adjoining rooms "contrary to etiquette and decency". Victoria herself dismissed the chatter as "ill-natured gossip in the higher classes"; the diaries of Lewis Harcourt contain a report that one of the Queen's chaplains, Rev. Norman Macleod, made a deathbed confession repenting his action in presiding over Queen Victoria's marriage to John Brown. Debate continues over this report, it should be emphasised that Harcourt did not receive the confession directly but that it passed from Macleod's sister to the wife of Henry Ponsonby, the Queen's private secretary, thence to Harcourt's father Sir William Harcourt Home Secretary. Harcourt served as Home Secretary in the final three years of Brown's life.
While it is true that some widowed monarchs have contracted private marriages with their servants, there is little evidence that Victoria married Brown. The most compelling evidence of the depth of Victoria and Brown's relationship comes from the pen of the Queen herself. A discovered letter written by Victoria shortly after Brown's death, to Viscount Cranbrook, reveals the true extent of the loss: "Perhaps never in history was there so strong and true an attachment, so warm and loving a friendship between the sovereign and servant... Strength of character as well as power of frame – the most fearless uprightness, sense of justice, honesty and unselfishness combined with a tender, warm heart... made him one of the most remarkable men. The Queen feels that life for the second time is become most trying and sad to bear deprived of all she so needs... the blow has fallen too not to be heavily felt..." The phrase "life for the second time" relates to the death of her husband Prince Albert. The historian who discovered the letter believed that it suggested that Victoria, in her mind, equated Brown's death with Albert's, that she therefore viewed him as more than a servant.
Whether Brown and Victoria were actual lovers, however, is not known. John Brown died, aged 56, at Windsor Castle on 27 March 1883, is buried in Crathie Kirkyard, in the next plot to his parents and a number of his siblings; the inscription on his gravestone further shows the attachment between him and the Queen: "This stone is erected in affectionate and grateful remembrance of John Brown the devoted and faithful personal attendant and beloved friend of Queen Victoria in whose service he had been for 34 years. Born at Crathienaird 8th Decr. 1826 died at Windsor Castle 27th March 1883. That Friend on whose fidelity you count/that Friend given to you by circumstances/over which you have no control/was God’s own gift. Well done good and faithful servant/Thou hast been faithful over a few things,/I will make thee ruler over many things/Enter through into the joy of the Lord." Those who believe that the Queen saw Brown as little more than a servant point to the fact that after his death she became attached to an Indian servant, Abdul Karim, one of two who had come to work for her in late June 1887.
She called him the Munshi, he came to be resented more than John Brown: unlike Brown, whose loyalty was without question, there was evidence that Karim exploited his position for personal gain and prestige. Tony Rennell's book Last Days of Glory: The Death of Queen Victoria reveals that Victoria had entrusted detailed instructions about her burial to her doctor, Sir James Reid; these included a list of the keepsakes and mementoes and trinkets to be placed in the coffin with her: along with Albert's dressing gown and a plaster cast of his hand, the Queen was buried with a lock of Brown's hair, his photograph, Brown's mother's wedding ring, given to her by Brown, along with several of his letters. The photograph, wrapped in white tissue paper, was placed in her left hand, with flowers arranged to hide it from view, she wore the ring on the third finger of her right hand. The statues and private memorials that Victoria had created for Brown were destroyed at the order of her son, Edward VII, with whom Brown had clashed and who resented Brown for his influence.
Queen Victoria commissioned a life-sized statue of Brown by Ed