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Queen Victoria's coronation portrait. Painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter 1838

Image from Queen Victoria’s Journals, the Royal Archives

Last year, in honor of her Diamond Jubilee, the Royal Archives posted transcriptions and copies of Queen Victoria’s many journals online.  While they now seem to be locked down and accessible only to researchers, for a short period they were open to the public.  When the entire life of Queen Victoria is open before you, where do you go first?  I went to Albert – her accounts of their first meeting as well as of their courtship and her eventual proposal.  What I found is that apparently, queens are people, too.  I had always heard that Victoria was quite taken with Albert but wow, that thing read like my diaries in high school but with more requital.  I’m talking multiple exclamation points, folks.  Unfortunately, reading the Royal Archives site’s terms and conditions, I am definitely not allowed to reproduce anything I read at the time it was openly available, so here is my paraphrased version of her journal entry on the day of her proposal to Albert.

October 15, 1839

Around noon, I called Albert up to my room.  I said, “I think you know why you’re here,” and I told him I thought he was SO hot, and I was so totally into him, and I asked him would he marry me.  He agreed!!  We hugged and hugged and he was SO sweet and wonderful – I can’t BELIEVE I am going to be married to an ANGEL like Albert.  He is perfect in every way and so incredibly hot, I told him I totally didn’t deserve him, but he said that was silly and we hugged some more.  OMG, I love him SO MUCH!!!1

Ach du lieber! We’d be swoony, too.

You might think I’m exaggerating, but that is basically what it’s like with slightly more formal language.  The rest of the journal was pretty dull – every day is an account of when she wakes up, when she has breakfast, and who comes to call on her.

If you want to see some actual entries from Victoria’s diary, go to Queen Victoria’s Scrapbook which is another site established in honor of the Queen’s Jubilee.  This site has a number of select entries.  This is a good way to get to the good stuff and bypass all the breakfasts at 9.

How incredible to have a record of this monarch’s entire life in her own words!   If you could read Victoria’s journals at your leisure, what would you read about first?