Queen launches remarkable website delving into Queen Victoria's private journals

By Culture24 Reporter | 24 April 2012
a website screenshot
They contain everything from the private musings of an adolescent girl through to the desolate scribblings of a sad and lonely widow.

Now the journals of Queen Victoria are available for all to see online as her Majesty the Queen today launches a new website delving into the private world of her great-great grandmother.

The project, which is a partnership between The Royal Archives, The Bodleian Libraries and information company ProQuest, makes Victoria’s private records available for the public to access at www.queenvictoriasjournals.org for the first time. 

As well as the autograph diaries of the youthful Princess Victoria, there are edited versions from her later years, redacted and transcribed by Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Beatrice.

The public and historians alike will find plenty to interest them in the online haul. Victoria was a prolific writer who recorded her thoughts and experiences almost daily, starting with her first entry as a young girl of 13 and continuing until just weeks before her death in 1901.

As well as key events such as her coronation, marriage to Prince Albert and the Diamond Jubilee of 1897, the journals also trace important events in history such as meetings with her Prime Ministers, The Great Exhibition and the Crimean and Boer Wars.

Perhaps most significantly they also reveal the intimate side of Victoria. She writes of her early romance with Prince Albert: "He clasped me in his arms, and we kissed each other again and again!" (February 10 1840), and of the loneliness of widowhood: "Here I sit lonely and desolate, who so need love and tenderness" (March 10 1863).

Fully searchable with transcriptions of each page currently available up to 1840, further releases are planned throughout the Diamond Jubilee year.

The site also includes an interactive timeline, accompanying essays and drawings by Queen Victoria and selections from her sketchbooks.  

More pictures:

a detail of a journal with jottings and sketches
Journal entry: 10th Feb 1840 – wedding day – Princess Beatrice copies© Supplied by Royal Archives/ © HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012
a sketch of a group of children in period dress
Illustration: 1 January 1848 Queen Victoria's 5 children dressed as Coburg and Thüringen peasants, pen and ink sketch by Queen Victoria© Supplied by Royal Archives/ © HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012
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