Behind the Crown: The Personal Life of Queen Victoria


Queen Victoria is remembered as one of the longest-reigning and influential monarchs in British history. Her reign, spanning over six decades, saw the growth and expansion of the British Empire and major social and political changes in England. However, behind the crown and her public image as the strong and stoic Queen, Victoria had a rich and complex personal life that shaped her reign.

Born in 1819, Victoria was brought up in strict and isolated settings due to her father’s death and her mother’s overbearing influence. This upbringing had a profound impact on her, and she developed a reserved and serious personality. Her studies were also limited, and she had no formal education other than the basic subjects. This lack of intellectual stimulation and exposure to the outside world may have contributed to her initially narrow-minded and conservative views as a monarch.

While she was raised to become a dutiful and obedient wife, Victoria’s marriage to Prince Albert, her first cousin, proved to be a true love match. Despite their arranged betrothal, the two shared a deep love and mutual respect for each other. Albert became an essential advisor and confidant to Victoria, and she relied heavily on his counsel in matters of state and personal affairs.

Together, they had nine children, which Victoria considered her greatest joy and responsibility. Unlike her own childhood, Victoria and Albert provided their children with a loving and affectionate upbringing. However, their grief over the death of their eldest son, Prince Albert Victor, at the age of 28, deeply affected Victoria’s mental health. She went into a period of deep mourning, shunning public appearances and responsibilities, and even wearing black for the rest of her life.

In addition to her family, Victoria had a close circle of friends and confidantes. One of her closest friends was John Brown, a Scottish servant whom she met in 1864. Despite their differences in social class, they developed a deep friendship, and some even speculated that they were romantically involved. Their relationship was met with much controversy, and Victoria even faced backlash from her family and the public. However, they remained inseparable until Brown’s death in 1883, and Victoria’s grief over his passing was as intense as that of her husband’s.

Along with her personal relationships, Victoria was also an avid writer and diary keeper. Her journals, spanning over 60 volumes, provide a glimpse into her personal life and the thoughts and emotions behind her public image. Through these writings, we learn of her love for her family and her struggles with balancing her roles as a monarch, wife, and mother.

Despite her personal challenges, Victoria was a dedicated and successful ruler. She was a strong supporter of women’s rights and advocated for social reforms, such as the abolition of slavery and the improvement of working conditions for the poor. She also played a significant role in promoting the arts and sciences, earning her the nickname “The Grandmother of Europe” due to the numerous marriages between her children and royal families across Europe.

In conclusion, Queen Victoria’s personal life was as eventful and compelling as her reign. She faced challenges, such as the loss of loved ones, public and family backlash, and her own struggles with mental health. However, through it all, she remained a devoted mother, wife, and sovereign. Her legacy continues to inspire and fascinate people today, making her one of the most iconic and influential monarchs in history.