On this day: Queen Victoria in London

Her_Majesty_Greeting_her_People,_Diamond_Jubilee_Pageant,_London,_England Queen Victoria riding a coach through a crowd of onlookers during her Diamond Jubilee procession. 22nd June 1897

Link to enlarge the image.

This photograph was taken in London on the 22nd of June, 1897. Queen Victoria, then aged seventy-eight, takes part in a procession in honour of her Diamond Jubilee – sixty years on the British throne.

The Queen would die less than four years after this image was taken.

On this day: free bread to honour the Queen

Canada honoured the Queen’s official birthday on the 21st of May this year. The British monarchs have celebrated an official birthday separate to their real birthday since the 1740s.

In 1859 this holiday occurred on the 24th of May, which was in fact Queen Victoria’s real birthday. To mark the occasion officials in Toronto handed out tickets for free loaves of bread.

1859-queens-birthday-vs As part of the celebrations surrounding Queen Victoria's birthday, the City of Toronto distributed free loaves of bread by way of tickets such as this one. Good f

On this day: the Victoria Memorial is Unveiled

Inauguration_du_Monument_de_la_reine_Victoria The Victoria Memorial's unveiling ceremony outside Buckingham Palace London 16th May 1911

The Victoria Memorial, which stands outside Buckingham Palace at the end of The Mall in London, was unveiled in a ceremony on the 16th of May, 1911.

The monument honours Queen Victoria, whose long reign had come to an end with her death a decade earlier.

The ceremony was presided over by both by King George V and his first cousin, Wilhelm II of Germany. Both men were grandsons of Victoria.

Following the ceremony it was revealed the memorial’s sculpture, Thomas Brock, was to be knighted.

On this day: Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee

Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee on the 20th of June, 1887. This photograph is of Regent Street in London decorated for the event.

Source

View down Regent Street looking north and showing the decorations for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.

On this day: Victoria Day in 1934

Fête de la Reine (Victoria Day) is a national holiday for Canada, celebrated on the final Monday before Queen Victoria’s birthday in late May.

This image is of children in Quebec celebrating with maypole dancing on the 24th of May, 1934.

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Victoria the Great – for fans of anything Victorian

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I commented on the new television series, Victoria, and how horrified I was by the deliberate changes to history (such as making a teenage girl’s ageing mentor her love interest!).

Recently a different version of Queen Victoria’s life was on television: Victoria the Great, released in 1937 on the centenary of the real queen’s ascension to the throne.

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Victoria being woken early to be informed she is now queen.

The movie version and a 19th century depiction of the moment.

Now, I don’t usually expect much of films from the 1930s (though Gone with the Wind has some spectacular crowd scenes that hold up today).

So how surprised I was to realise this old movie was the best interpretation of Queen Victoria’s life I’ve seen!

Actual, recorded historical moments are recreated beautifully, and accurately. I even learnt a few things – yes, I checked that they were true.

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The queen’s (played by Anna Neagle), and Prince Albert’s (played by Anton Walbrook, all the way down to his dorky hair) costumes and hairstyles are spot-on. In an era where historical licence was practically expected, the people working on this film have all but recreated the costumes from official portraits.

The sets and filming locations are spectacular, even in black and white. Unlike so many “historical” movies today, the dances are accurate for the period (Anna Karenina, I’m looking at you!), and the women have their hair pinned up! The forms of transport they use (such as the early train they depart London on) look accurate to me.

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I usually sit and nit-pick when watching historical dramas, but I couldn’t find much to complain about here.

I never liked The Young Victoria. For all the praise heaped on it, neither Emily Blunt or Rupert Friend suited their roles, and the less said about the horrific rewriting of history in the more recent Victoria, the better.

So far, this eighty-year-old film is my favourite version of the life of Britain’s most famous queen. I’m not sure how easy it is to track down these days, but it’s worth a watch.

In its time, Victoria the Great was so successful a second film was immediately made.

On this day: a new Queen

At 6am on the 20th of June, 1837, eighteen-year-old Victoria was woken to the news she was now Queen of the United Kingdom.

This marked the beginning of the long Victorian era, which concluded with her death in 1901.

The image below, created in 1887, depicts Victoria receiving the news of her accession.

Queen Victoria receiving the news of her accession to the throne, 20 June 1837.

And as illustrated in 1895:

NPG D33592; 'Your Majesty' (William Howley; Francis Nathaniel Conyngham, 2nd Marquess Conyngham; Queen Victoria) published by The Graphic, after  Mary Louisa Gow