|Self-portrait of the young Victoria, five years before her wedding|
“It Was With Some Emotion That I Beheld Albert — Who Is Beautiful.”
At first Queen Victoria resisted the charms of her German cousin Albert; they met once as teenagers, but no romance followed. But as Victoria grew older and her parade of suitors increased, they too were found lacking. Finally, in 1839, she invited Albert back to Windsor castle for another visit. Now Victoria, a plain girl, fell head over heels in love with handsome, well-educated Albert. Five days later, she proposed to him.
|Quite the stud|
A Surprisingly Successful Wedding Night
Victorians are known for public prudishness, not private lusts. Yet Queen Victoria seemed to attack her new wifely duties with relish. Of her wedding night, she wrote the following in her diary (thanks, Wikipedia):
I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert … his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! … to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!
|The Royal Wedding, February 10, 1840|
You can read an eyewitness’s account of the event here. Or, if that’s a little too wordy and Victorian, you can watch the trailer for The Young Victoria below.