Victoria, Empress

Queen Victoria, 1893

Queen Victoria in 1893.  As she never left Britain, this oriental tent/pavilion was probably in the gardens at Osborne.  She is working on her dispatch boxes. Victoria seems to have been a woman of great passions: she loved her husband to distraction, her groom, her personal muslim servant who taught her Urdu, her Prime Ministers, especially Disraeli and his expansionist policies which led to the second Anglo-Afghan war.  She 'rescued' India from the ruling British East India Company after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, believed in religious freedom for India and other protectorates, saw the empire as civilising and protective.  However, the empire was conducted by governments and ministers who were not always so benign, and the influence of monarchy is constitutionally marginal.

This lovely painting of Victoria at four: a hat in proportions Marc Jacobs has just resurrected.

Stephen Poyntz Denning 1795-1864 Princess Victoria aged four, 1823. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London