Travel – Sandringham in Norfolk, England


Sandringham House is privately owned by Queen Elizabeth II and sits on the 20,000 acre royal Sandringham Estate located in Norfolk, England.  The house has been used for over 150 years by four generations of the British Royal Family; most notably it was home to the young Prince Albert (the future King Edward VII). Sandringham House has witnessed many historical events and was the location of the deaths of three Kings; King Edward VII in 1901, King George V in 1935 and King George VI in 1952.  Sandringham House was also the site of the first ever Christmas message given by a British monarch via radio broadcast by King George V in 1932.

The history of Sandringham

Long ago, at the time of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a smaller house called Sandringham Hall was first built on this site in Norfolk by the architect Cornish Henley.  Later, when the house was owned by Charles Spencer Cowper during the 19th century an elaborate porch and conservatory designed by architect Samuel Sanders Teulon were added to the house.  Then in 1862 Sandringham was purchased for Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Prince Albert the Prince of Wales.  After Prince Albert married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863 and it became their new country home.  (For more information on the wedding of this popular royal couple, please click on the following post – Royal Weddings Part Two)

The royal couple quickly made many changes to the Sandringham estate with renovations to the main house, rebuilding cottages and construction of new roads on the property.  When the Prince found the house too small for his growing family and the existing house was demolished and replaced by the current Jacobean style red brick house in 1869 which was designed by architect A.J. Humbert.  After it was finally completed the new house included beautiful bay windows to bring light into the interior and a new wing with a grand ball room for when the royal couple entertained.  The newly renovated house also included some modern amenities; such as gas lighting and bathrooms with running water, flushing toilets and an early version of a shower.  The property also saw improvements done to the landscaping and a new garden wall was built incorporating the now famous Norwich Gate which is an impressive ironwork gate designed by Thomas Jekyll and was given to the royal couple as a wedding gift from the people of Norfolk and Norwich.

Sandringham Norwich Gates

Sandringham was the place for intimate royal family gatherings and visits by important guests such as Prince Albert’s nephew, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Prussia.  While in residence at Sandringham, the Prince thoroughly enjoyed the grounds of the estate, riding and hunting were two of his favorite outdoor activities.  Because of his love and passion for shooting, he devised a plan to make the most of the daylight hours during the winter months and for this reason clocks at Sandringham were set forward by a half an hour to allow more time for his favorite sport.  Some say that another reason for setting the clock back was because, much to King Edward’s annoyance, Queen Alexandra was constantly late.  Regardless of the reason, this custom became known as “Sandringham Time” on the estate and remained in effect even after King Edward VII death in 1910.  (Special note: King Edward VII’s son, King George V, honored the tradition set by his father and throughout his reign “Sandringham Time” stayed in effect until his own death in 1936.  At that time his son, King Edward VIII, set the clocks back to the correct time in defiance of his overbearing father)

Edward VII    King Edward VII shooting at Sandringham 1

Throughout the years the relationship between Queen Victoria and her son, Prince Albert, was very strained due to the fact that she blamed him for the untimely death of her husband which she believed Prince Albert caused inadvertently.  The Queen also disapproved of her son’s pursuit of self-indulgent pleasures of drinking, gambling and his frequent associations with married women.  For these reasons she stayed away from Sandringham and never visited during her extended period of mourning for her beloved husband and her self-imposed seclusion from public life and strong aversion of her royal duties in London.  But when Prince Albert was diagnosed with typhoid fever, the same illness that took her husband, the Queen quickly went to Sandringham fearing the worst.  Fortunately the Prince survived and a grateful Queen and in fact the entire nation celebrated that the life of the popular Prince of Wales was spared.

Prince ALbert later King Edward VII family

In 1892, more difficult times came to Sandringham when the eldest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, known as Prince Albert the Duke of Clarence, suddenly became ill with influenza and sadly he died within a short period of time.  Queen Victoria was very fond of his fiancée, Princess Mark of Teck, and after a brief period of mourning she encouraged her to marry the brother, Prince George, who was now second in line to the throne.  So, it seems despite the tragic death of Prince Albert there was a happy ending when the Duke and Duchess of York were married in 1893.  The royal couple later moved into a smaller house on the Sandringham Estate where they lived together with their growing family for the next 30 years.   (For more information on the grand wedding of this royal couple, please click on the following post – Royal Weddings Part Two)

With the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, the new King Edward VII was required to be in London and he spent less time at his beloved Sandringham. He tried to visit Norfolk whenever he could and continued to make improvements on the estate.  Unfortunately his reign was very brief and lasted less than ten years.  Some say that his over indulgent lifestyle of eating, drinking and smoking ultimately lead to his poor health.  Over his last years, he suffered from severe bronchitis and towards the end a series of heart attacks.  He died on May 6, 1910 and is buried in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.  After his father’s death, the new King George V and Queen Mary were very gracious when they allowed his mother, Queen Alexandra, to remain living in Sandringham House until her death in 1925.  The royal couple continued to live in their smaller house on the estate which eventually became known as the York Cottage.

York Cottage - Sandringham

During World War I, the Sanringham estate workers and men of the small villages of Norfolk formed the 5th Norfolk Regiment which was led by Captain Frank Beck, the King’s estate land agent.  The Sandringham Company was eventually sent to fight the war in Europe and sadly the entire battalion was killed in the Battle of Gallipoli in August 1915.  Some historians state that the men were killed in the battle or perished in a deadly fire cause by an exploded shell and other historians believe that some men died in the battle while the other men were executed afterwards by the Turks who took no prisoners.  To honor these fallen heroes of “The Lost Battalion” a memorial was erected near the Church of St. Magdalene located on the Sandringham Estate and was dedicated in 1920 by King George V with Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra in attendance.  (Special Note: “All the King’s Men”, which tells the story of the Sandringham Company, is a novel written by Robert Penn Warren that was first published in 1946.  The book later adapted for film in 1947 and then again in 2006)

Sandringham Company WWI memorial

Sandringham was the setting of a very sad story that involved one member of the royal family.  Prince John (born: July 12, 1905) was the fifth son and youngest child of King George V and Queen Mary.  He was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of four years old and he also suffered from an intellectual disability which was later identified as a form of autism.  As his condition continued to deteriorate he was sent to live with his governess in a small cottage on the Sandringham Estate.  He eventually became almost completely isolated from members of his family with only infrequent visits by his mother and older brother.  Sadly he died at the age of thirteen on January 18, 1919 after a severe seizure and is buried in the cemetery at St. Mary Magdalene located on the estate.  Information about his condition was only released to the public after his death and there has been much controversy about his seemingly unsympathetic treatment and disappearance from the royal family but in reality he received excellent care from his loving governess and enjoyed a pleasant but quiet life living on the Sandringham Estate.   (Special note: The touching story of the short life of Prince John was made into a BBC movie in 2003.  “The Lost Prince” was written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff and is currently available on DVD)

Children of King George V and Queen Mary

After King George V died at Sandringham on January 20, 1936, the estate passed to his eldest son who became King Edward VIII.  Less than a year after his accession and his unexpected abdication, a problem developed when the former King Edward VII still held the rights to the Sandringham and Balmoral estates.  Both estates had been purchased as private properties during the reign of Queen Victoria and were not included as part of the British Royal Crown.  Fortunately the matter was resolved when a financial settlement was quickly reached and the ownership of the both properties was transferred to his brother, the new King George VI.  (Special note:  Today, both Sandringham and Balmoral remain the private estates of Queen Elizabeth II who inherited them from her father when he died)

King George VI was born in 1895 in York Cottage located on the Sandringham estate. He had many fond childhood memories spent there with his grandfather and father.  Throughout the years he continued to traditionally spent the Christmas holidays there with his wife, Queen Elizabeth, and their two daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.  Sadly, King George VI died in his sleep at Sandringham House on the night of February 6, 1952.  It has been said that the stress of his brother’s abdication, his accession and duties as King during World War II along with his daily smoking habit caused his health to deteriorate over time and he died at a relatively young age of 56 years old.  His coffin was laid in St. Mary Magdalene church for two days before it was taken by train to London then a funeral service and burial in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II, the current monarch of England, also loves Sandringham and enjoys the seclusion of the English countryside.  She first visited there for Christmas 1926 when she was just eight months old.  She returned often and made regular visits with her parents to see her grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary.  During World War II King George VI sent Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret,  to Windsor Caslte and they also spent extended periods of time at Sandringham staying at Appleton House to avoid the frequent and very dangerous German bombings of London.

Appleton House - Sandringham

Queen Elizabeth has customarily spent the anniversary of her father’s death and her subsequent accession quietly and privately with her immediate family at Sandringham House.  She will arrive just before Christmas and remain there for the entire month of February.  She enjoys spending time there with her children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren.  (For more information on how the Royal Family spends Christmas at Sandringham and their holiday traditions, please click on the link)

There are several additional houses and cottages located on the Sandringham Estate and some of these have been mentioned already in this post.  Listed below are a few more buildings:

St. Mary Magdalene Church –

St, Mary Magdalene Church is a relatively small parish church located on the Sandringham Estate just a short distance from the Sandringham House.  The building dates back to the 19th century and a beautiful chancel, the space around the altar in the sanctuary, features carved angels on either side of the silver altar were a gift from Queen Alexandra to pay tribute to her husband, King Edward II.  Other notable features in the church include a silver pulpit, a 17th century Spanish silver cross and a Florentine marble font.

The church is of great historical interest since it has been used since the time of Queen Victoria and there are many memorials dedicated to members of the Royal Family.  As previously mentioned, Prince John, the son of King George VI, is buried in the adjacent cemetery and after his death in 1952 King George VI laid in state in the church for two days prior to his funeral and burial at Windsor.  The church is still used frequently by the Royal Family whenever they are in residence at the Sandringham Estate which is usually during the Christmas season every year.

Sandringham Christmas - St Mary Magdalene church    Sandringham Christmas - St Mary Magdalene church - interior

Park House –

Park House is located just west of Sandringham House.  When Prince Albert (later King Edward VII) acquired the property in 1862 he had several additional houses, including Park House, built to accommodate his numerous guests.  Then, in the 1930s, King George V leased Park House his friend Edmund Roche, the 4th Baron of Fermoy.  Edmund’s daughter Frances was born there in 1936.  Frances later married John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, in 1954.  Their daughter Diana, the future Princess of Wales, was born there in 1961.  Park House was Diana’s childhood home and Viscount Spencer continued leasing the house until 1975 when he became the Earl Spencer and the family moved to Althorp.  (Special note:  In 1983, Queen Elizabeth offered Park House to the Leonard Cheshire Disability organization to use as a hotel for disabled people and is now is specially designed and equipped to accommodate their needs)

Park House - Sandringham

Anmer Hall –

Anmer Hall is a Georgian-style country house built in the 18th century and is located just east of Sandringham.  Several years after Sandringham was bought by Queen Victoria for her son, Prince Albert (later King Edward VII), Anmer Hall and the surrounding land was added to the estate in 1898.  The south side of the red brick house features thirteen bays topped with stone pediments and a porch with two Tuscan-style columns while the north side of the house features a covered porch entrance.  Throughout the years the house has been a private residence for various occupants associated with the Royal Family, such as the Duke and Duchess of Kent who used it as their country house from 1972 to 1990. Recently, after the wedding of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince William to Kate, the house was given to the young Royal couple.  The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have hired Charles Morris, the architect who previously worked on Prince Charles’ Highgrove House, to design extensive renovations to Anmer Hall which should be completed in time for Christmas 2014.

Anmer Hall - Sandringham

Tourist information for visiting Sandringham

As previously mentioned, the 20,000 acre Sandringham Estate is privately owned by Queen Elizabeth II and is located in Norfolk, England.  The house has been used for over 150 years by four generations of the British Royal Family.  The gardens of Sandringham were first opened to the public by King Edward VII in 1908, later the Sandringham Museum was opened by King George V in 1930 and Sandringham House was opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II in 1977.

Guests should start their visit to the Sandringham Estate at the Visitor Center.  The recommended time of a typical visit is 3 to 4 hours for guests to tour Sandringham House, visit the museum, walk through the beautiful gardens, shop in the gift shop and even have something to eat at the restaurant.  For specific information regardes dates and hours of operation, prices and additional tour information please check their website at

Celebration – Victoria’s Day

1838 - Queen Victoria coronation portrait by George Hayter 1   1897 Queen Victoria in Diamond Julbilee photograph by W&D Downey

This year on May 20th Victoria’s Day will be celebrated in Canada.  It is a federal holiday and the day is observed on the last Monday before or on May 24, which was the actual birthday of Queen Victoria.  The day is also known in Canada as the “official” Sovereign’s Birthday for the current British monarch, which is Queen Elizabeth II.

Years ago, I read several books by Jean Plaidy, aka Victoria Holt, about the life of Queen Victoria of England and I became fascinated by her.  I enjoyed reading about her life from the time of her ascension to the British throne, to her marriage to Prince Albert and her sudden widowhood after his untimely death, to the birth of her nine children and her difficult relationship with her son who was destined to become the future King Edward VII, through to the time of her death at the beginning of the 20th century.  For this particular post I will concentrate on Queen Victoria’s personal life and leave the political information and details of her almost 64 year reign for the experts!

A not so brief history of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria born: May 24, 1819 died: January 22, 1901) was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; later in 1876 she received the additional title of the Empress of India.  Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901, which is longer than any other British monarch.  (Queen Elizabeth, the current British monarch will soon break that record)  The almost 64 years of her reign became known in history as the Victorian era.  This period brought great industrial, cultural, political and scientific changes within the United Kingdom and also was a time that marked by the great worldwide expansion of the British Empire.

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent and the Duchess Victoria, formerly the German born Princess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.  Prince Edward was the fourth son of King George III and she became fifth in the line of succession.  Within a year after her birth both Prince Edward and King George III died in 1820, making her uncle King George IV.  When the Duke of York died in 1827 and King George IV died in 1930, her last surviving uncle became King William IV making Victoria the heir presumptive.

Victoria was raised at Kensington Palace in London under the close supervision of her extremely protective mother.  Victoria’s life was very lonely and she was isolated from other children and most of her time was governed by private lessons with tutors and very little free time spent with her dolls and her King Charles spaniel, Dash. Victoria was held under a constant watch by her governess, Baroness Louise Lehzen, and at night she shared a bedroom with her mother.  These rules and restrictions were devised by the Duchess and the ambitious Sir John Convoy and they became known as the Kensington System.  With this system, the Duchess and Sir Conroy were positioning themselves to take power as regents if an underage Victoria took the throne before turning 18 years old.  Luckily King William IV lived long enough so this was avoided thus ending the plans of the Duchess and Sir Conroy.   At this same time another person was trying to control the life of the young Victoria.  Her uncle on her mother’s side, King Leopold of Belgian, hoped that his niece would marry his nephew Prince Albert.  A meeting was arranged in 1836, but fate soon intervened and King Leopold’s marriage plans were postponed. (Victoria’s mother, Albert’s father, Ernest the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and King Leopold were siblings and this lineage made the future Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first cousins)

1838 - Queen Victoria coronation portrait by George Hayter 2

King William IV died in 1837, and a young Victoria became queen of Great Britain at the age of 18 years old.  Almost a year later, her elaborate coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on June 28, 1838.  The crown that was previously used by the former British kings weighed seven pounds, too large for the young Queen’s head.  A new crown was made that was smaller, weighed about 31/2 pounds, and was covered with over 2,100 precious stones such as diamonds, pearls, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.  To prepare for the coronation, the streets of London were festively decorated and soldiers on foot and horseback lined the streets.  On the morning of the coronation, the future Queen Victoria left Buckingham Palace in a Grand State Carriage pulled by eight cream-colored horses.  Westminster Abbey has been the site of every coronation since Edward I in 1274 and every monarch has been crowned sitting in the Chair of St. Edward. (For more information regarding the Coronation regalia, please click on the link Crown Jewels of England – Part One)

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert quickly became engaged after their second meeting in 1839.  They were married on February 10, 1840 in the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace in Windsor followed by a wedding breakfast held at Buckingham Palace and a honeymoon at Windsor Castle.  Prince Albert was dressed in a red British Field Marshal’s uniform and proudly wore the Order of the Garter Star on his chest.  Queen Victoria wore a white satin wedding gown trimmed with Honiton lace and orange blossoms.  Instead of wearing a jeweled royal tiara, Victoria choose to wear a wreath of more orange blossoms over a long Honiton lace veil.  At the time, orange blossoms were traditionally worn by brides as a symbol of fertility.  The clothes of a royal wedding tend to be very lavish, but a normal bride would simply have chosen to wear her “best dress”.  It has been said that Queen Victoria started the fashion tradition of wearing a white wedding dress.  (For more information about the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, please click on the link British Royal Weddings – Part One and for more information about Queen Victoria’s wedding dress, please click on the link British Royal Wedding Dress – Part One)

1846 Family of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert portrait by

It took a little time after their marriage for Queen Victoria to trust Prince Albert with any government information but eventually he came to be her most trusted political adviser and a very dominant and influential person in her life.  The royal couple had nine children: Princess Royal Victoria in 1840, Prince Albert Edward (known as Bertie, the future King Edward VII) in 1841, Princess Alice in 1843, Prince Alfred in 1844, Princess Helena in 1846, Princess Louise in 1848, Prince Arthur in 1850, Prince Leopold in 1853 and Princess Beatrice in 1857.  Despite the fact that she had so many children, Queen Victoria greatly disliked being pregnant and thought newborn babies were ugly.  Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s choose wisely and married their children into royal and noble families throughout Europe.  With her nine children, forty-two grandchildren and thirty-seven great grandchildren who are all related throughout the world’s royal families Queen Victoria has been called the “Grandmother of Europe”.

In 1861, Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent died.  The two had been estranged since the time of Victoria’s ascension.  Her mother’s death greatly affected Victoria and she went into a great depression cause by her intense grief. Unable to function, Prince Albert took over most of her duties despite the fact that he was ill with chronic stomach pains. Then, when their son Bertie, the Prince of Wales, became involved in a scandalous relationship with an actress and Prince Albert traveled to Cambridge to confront his son.  Prince Albert had extremely high moral standards and felt his son’s behavior was unacceptable and advised Bertie to remember his royal responsibilities. When Prince Albert returned from his trip he became very ill and was diagnosed with typhoid fever and died shortly after on December 14, 1861.  Queen Victoria was devastated by the death of her beloved husband and felt that Prince Albert’s intense worry over Bertie’s scandalous behavior brought on her husband’s illness and hastened his death.

With the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria went into deep mourning and withdrew from her royal duties too distraught to function.  She immediately cancelled all the royal court calendar events and after a period of official mourning never worn anything but black clothing, her widow’s veil and a small diamond crown.  Because of the way she dressed after Prince Albert’s death, Queen Victoria was called the “Widow of Windsor”.  She left London and remained isolated in her other royal residences and divided her time between Windsor Castle, Osborne House and Balmoral Castle in Scotland.  It was at Balmoral Castle that Queen Victoria came to increasingly rely on her personal servant named John Brown.  There have been rumors of a romantic relationship between them and even a possible secret marriage.  Despite these scandalous rumors, John Brown has been credited for coxing Queen Victoria out of her deep mourning and severe depression, causing her to return to her royal duties and a public life.

Unfortunately, more sorrow and death came to Queen Victoria’s life.  In 1871, her son Bertie contracted typhoid, the same disease that killed Prince Albert.  Bertie made a full recovery and his estranged relationship with his mother greatly improved after he was so close to death.  Sadly, in the following years three of Queen Victoria’s children died.  In 1878 Princess Alice died of diphtheria, in 1884 Prince Leopold died from a cerebral hemorrhage and in 1900 Prince Alfred died of throat cancer. Then, in 1883, John Brown’s loyalty to Queen Victoria ultimately cost him his life when he ignored his own health concerns, refusing to take care of himself when he first became ill and instead stubbornly continued to attend to his duties as her servant, he died from pneumonia.

In the remaining years of Queen Victoria’s life and reign as monarch, she eventually returned to a public life after her self-imposed isolation and eventually regained her popularity with the English people as their beloved matriarchal Queen.  In 1887, she celebrated 50 years on the throne with a lavish Golden Jubilee that was celebrated throughout England.  Then, in 1896, Queen Victoria became the longest reigned monarch in British history and she requested that any special celebration be postponed to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee.

In 1900, Queen Victoria continued to observe her annual tradition of celebration of Christmas at Osborne House on the Isle of Wright.  Severe rheumatism in her legs had made her unable to walk and her eyesight was extremely poor due to cataracts.  By the start of the new year and the dawn of a new century, she had become increasingly weak.  Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901 at the age of 81 years old.  Her funeral took place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and she was interred beside her beloved Prince Albert in the Frogmore Mausoleum.

1882 Queen Victoria photograph by Alexander Bassano

Queen Victoria facts and trivia

  • When Victoria was still heir presumptive to the British crown and before she became queen, she was forbidden from walking up or down the stairs by herself without holding onto someone’s hand.  Her over-protective mother had a strict set of rules and was fearful that her daughter would be pushed or tripped down the stairs and killed to make way for another heir.  From birth, Victoria was forced to share a room with her controlling mother and, as a defiant act of independence, one of her first orders after becoming Queen was to have her bed removed from her mother’s room and into another bedroom far away in another part of the palace.
  • When Queen Victoria ascended to the British throne in 1837, it prohibited her from receiving a marriage proposal from a man.  Then in 1839, five days after their second meeting, Queen Victoria quickly fell in love with Prince Albert and wished to marry him but protocol prevented him from asking for her hand and she had to propose to him!
  • There is a legend that all British Royal brides carry a sprig of myrtle that was grown from Queen Victoria’s bridal bouquet.  The origin of the myrtle is false, although it is still a fact that British Royal brides do carry a sprig of myrtle in their bouquets on their wedding day.  The true story is that Prince Albert’s grandmother gave Queen Victoria a posy of myrtle when she visited Germany.  The Queen had the myrtle planted at her home, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight.  The myrtle plant still grows there today and this is the source of the myrtle that is carried in the British Royal bridal bouquets.
  • Queen Victoria youngest son, Prince Leopold, was affected by the blood-clotting disease hemophilia and two of her daughters, Princesses Alice and Beatrice, were also carriers of this disease.  Several of Queen Victoria’s descendants including her great-grandson, Tsarevich Alexei of Russia, also suffered from this disease.  The presence of the disease in her descendants and not her ancestors led to speculation that the Duke of Kent was not Victoria’s true father since male carriers always suffer from this disease.  There is no documented evidence of a hemophilia connection thru her mother, the Duchess of Kent.  It is likely possible that the hemophilia gene mutated because the Duke of Kent was over 50 at the time of Victoria’s birth and hemophilia frequently accurses in the children of older fathers.
  • Queen Victoria publicly endorsed the 19th century cocaine-based drink Vin Mariani; this drink would later inspired Coca-Cola in the United States.  Vin Mariani was a medicine or tonic created in 1863 by a French chemist named Angelo Mariani.  Originally the drink was made from Bordeaux wine and coca leaves and contained 7.6 mg of cocaine per fluid ounce of wine.  Vin Mariani was very popular during this time and other notable people endorsed the drink.  Thomas Edison claimed that the drink helped him stay awake for long hours and Ulysses S. Grant began drinking it while writing his memoirs.
  • Queen Victoria keep a series of detailed journals throughout her long life writing on an average of 2500 words per day.  After her death, her daughter Princess Beatrice had the daunting task or transcribing and editing the 122 volumes that covered Queen Victoria’s life from the time of her ascension to her death.  Unfortunately, Queen Victoria’s personal and intimate history, private feelings and observations that were written by her own hand were lost when Princess Beatrice burned the original journals.
  • Several years prior to her death, Queen Victoria had written very specific instructions regarding her death and funeral.  Her son and successor, King Edward VII gently put her into her coffin and she was dressed in a white dress and her wedding veil.  Within the coffin were several mementos: on her right side was an article of Price Albert’s clothing and a plaster cast of his hand, on her left side were a lock of John Brown’s hair and a small photo of him wrapped in a handkerchief and place in her left hand and concealed by a carefully placed bouquet of flowers.