Tag Archives: Queen Victoria

Meanwhile, back at Kensington Palace…

The current residents of Kensington Palace, Queen Victoria’s birthplace, have just released some family photos and videos from their recent visit The Royal Horticultural Society’s Back to Nature Garden.

Prince William, next in line for the throne after Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, is Queen Victoria’s great-great-great-great grandson, and Prince George, Victoria’s great-great-great-great-great grandson, follows Prince William.

All media come from the Kensington Palace Twitter feed.

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Happy birthday, Queen Victoria!

Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India, was born on 24 May 1819, 200 years ago today.

That was “Victoria” by the Kinks, from the album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). Queen Victoria had been dead for 68 years when the Kinks recorded the song in 1969. Another couple of decades, and “Victoria” will be closer in time to the Victorian Age than to our own brave new world. Boats against the current….

“Canada to India
Australia to Cornwall
Singapore to Hong Kong
From the West to the East
From to the rich to the poor
Victoria loved them all.”

If you pay close attention to the lyrics, you might catch hints of the band’s signature working-class rage peeking through all the exaltation, but we’ll ignore that for now. Victoria’s bicentennial gives good Anglophiles everywhere a reason to celebrate, from the West to the East.


Home Again

In lesser news, I’m back from beautifully gloomy Budapest, and ready to resume posting.

I dined well, and you’re gonna hear all about it.

Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

Ramsgate_Sands c

“Ramsgate Sands”, by William Powell Frith

William Powell Frith, who artist who painted “Ramsgate Sands”, was noted for big, narrative works like this.  For Frith, it wasn’t enough that “every picture tells a story” — every picture tells a multitude of stories.  You’ll probably want to enbiggen the picture to appreciate the detail.

With the coming of the railways in the mid-1840s, Ramsgate, about 80 miles from London, became a popular spot for day trips.  Frith visited in 1851, and was inspired.

 “I was determined to try my hand on modern life, with all the drawback of unpicturesque dress. The variety of character on Ramsgate Sands attracted me – all sorts and conditions of men and women were to be found there. Pretty groups of ladies … reading, idling, working and unconsciously forming themselves into very paintable compositions.”
–William Powell Frith

Critical reaction to the painting was mixed, but it was popular w/the public.  One view was particularly impressed–Queen Victoria had visited Ramsgate as a child, and purchased “Ramsgate Sands” for £1,000.

The painting is still in the Royal Collection.

One obvious question.  It’s the seaside.  Why is everyone still fully dressed?