QUEEN, WIFE AND mother
Queen Victoria, once the longest serving monarch in British history, reigned for 63 years, seven months and two days. The monarchy had become increasingly unpopular under the Hanoverians who were compulsive gamblers and prone to infidelity, so Victoria was careful to reinvent the monarchy’s image as a positive one. Victoria’s marriage to her first cousin, Albert, was a love match and the couple went on to have nine children, four boys and five girls, who were portrayed as a loving family in a series of portraits and photographs.
Victoria and Albert arranged marriages for their children amongst the royal houses of Europe in the hopes of influencing more liberal policies and uniting the nations to reduce the prospects of war breaking out.
As the Grandmother of Europe, Victoria’s matchmaking continued into the next generation with her 42 grandchildren, but the outcome was not always a happy one and tragedy struck at the very heart of her family. As Victoria’s grandchildren spread throughout Europe, the political landscape shifted and many of the familiar royal houses would soon cease to exist.
Dearest Mama, the name of this site, is inspired by the fact Queen Victoria was a prolific letter writer who left a vast collection of letters written to and from her children and grandchildren.