Saturday, 14 March 2009

'The Queen's Husband'.

'The Queen's Husband' by Jean Plaidy.


This novel follows the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Albert, known as Alberinchen was the younger brother in the Saxe-Coburg Gotha family from Germany.His brother, Ernest was a year older. Albert was his mother's favourite and he doted on her. Unfortunately this 'happy' family were soon to disintegrate as their mother's extramarital affairs became known and she was forced to leave the family home. This effected the brothers greatly, particularly Albert who found his father's strict regime difficult to handle. As the two boys grew their grandparents helped in their choice of marriage partners , and so Victoria was presented to Albert as a possible suitor.
They appeared to fall in love instantly. They were married in the Chapel Royal by the Archbishop of Canterbury and spent their honeymoon at Windsor.
Albert, although happy was not as lively as Victoria . She enjoyed banquets and balls, Albert preferred a more sedate life.

'He feared his dear little Victoria was very frivolous. But this was not the time to attempt to improve her.'

As Victoria ruled the country as best she could, relying on Lords Melbourne and Palmerston , Albert was left with very few duties. Due to the world politics his nationality was not popular and many citizens were uneasy of his status. He decided to help with the running of the household as there were many flaws to correct. In particular when a boy managed to gain access to the palace through a broken window and remain there for several days, Albert knew he had to improve security.
So his role as Prince Consort developed and he spearheaded many projects, in particular the Great Exhibition and the renovation of Balmoral Castle.
During their marriage Victoria gave birth to nine babies,five girls and four boys. The oldest was Vicky, or Pussy as was her nickname. She was very bright and her father's favourite. A little precocious but highly intelligent. She outshone her brother Bertie, the Prince of Wales,(the future Edward V11) in everyway.Bertie had a difficult childhood, he was rather ungainly and took no interest in schoolwork , this infuriated Victoria and Albert . Consequently a series of tutors and governers were found for him but he showed little improvement.
As Bertie grew into adulthood his misdemeanors grew more public,involving parties , drinking and liasons with many women. Counselling by his parents led to no improvement in his behaviour, and left a devastating legacy.

'God save sweet Vic, mine Queen
Long live mine little Queen,
God save the Queen.
Albert is victorious
De Coburgs now are glorious
All so notorious
God save the Queen.'
I enjoyed this novel, the first book I have read about Queen Victoria. In my opinion she was a feisty lady, she was regal and knew her word was law. Albert was her great love and she doted on her family , however Bertie remained a 'thorn in her side' . I wonder if his character was such due to the strict regime his father bestowed on him.
I have read this book as part of my Chunkster challenge, Jean Plaidy challenge and Victorian challenge.

1 comment:

Arleigh said...

Excellent review! I haven't read any Victorian Plaidy yet, but looking forward to it. I like finding how her books were named and that little poem you posted answers it for me... I have 'Victoria Victorious' on my shelf as well as 'Victoria in the Wings' and 'The Queen and Lord M'.

I'm updating the Plaidy Challenge page now :)