Sunday, September 11, 2011

Smiling Victoria

The queen was often amused.
According to her granddaughter, Princess Alice of Albany (Countess of Athlone), Queen Victoria insisted that she never said, “We are not amused” but that four-word phrase – alongside the perpetual mourning for ‘angel Albert’ - has seeped into the popular imagination and created a totally false picture of the Queen as a very sombre and dreary woman.

In fact, Queen Victoria was often highly amused. Lady Longford, in her wonderful ‘Victoria R.I.’ recounts a humorous story of a meal at which the Queen sitting next to an elderly admiral who was very hard of hearing. The Queen asked about the progress of repairs to a wrecked ship but the admiral did not catch her words. Out of the politeness, the Queen tried a different conversation, “How is your sister?”

“Ah,” said the admiral, suddenly realising what had first been said, “She’ll be fine, ma’am, when we turn her over and scrape the barnacles off her bottom!” The Queen was so overcome with laughter that she had to hide her face in her handkerchief. (Read entire post.)

No comments: