Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy 195th Birthday to You!

This coming Saturday marks the 195th birthday of one of my favorite historical persons: I refer, of course, to HM Queen Victoria.

Since I’ve—ahem!—written about her frequently enough here over the years, I thought it might be fun to give a little quiz to make sure you’ve all been paying attention. Answers can be found in past NineteenTeen posts...or you can wing it and see just how much of a QV enthusiast you are. Are you game? Here we go! Answers (with links) will be posted at the end, so no peeking!

1. True or False: Victoria’s father died before she was a year old, leaving her to be brought up by her mother, a German princess.

2. True or False: The Queen was briefly engaged to Prince William of Orange (The Netherlands) but changed her mind and called off the marriage because she did not wish to have to spend time away from England as queen.

3. True or False: Victoria designed her own wedding dress, which can still be viewed in the London Museum.

4. True or False: Her Majesty was briefly addicted to the chewing of betel-nuts, a temporary fad at court in 1838, and could out-spit her prime minister, Lord Melbourne.

5. True or False: The Queen was one of the first women to use chloroform to help get through childbirth, much to the dismay of certain conservative groups in the medical community of the time who felt that women should not be permitted any abatement of labor pain.

6. True or False: Victoria was passionately fond of parrots as pets, and had several throughout her lifetime who were said to amuse her very much with their comments about Mr. Gladstone.

7. True or False: In her old age, The Queen had several servants from India, of whom she was immensely fond and who taught her the rudiments of Hindi.


1. True. Victoria’s father, the Duke of Kent, died of pneumonia when she was only eight months old.

2. False. That was her cousin, Princess Charlotte, who died in 1817.

4. False. That was my tricksy April Fool’s Day post from 2008. :)

5. True. She used chloroform for her last two pregnancies, and was roundly abused by the medical journal The Lancet for doing so.

6. False. Actually, Victoria was a dog lover, and the first thing she did on arriving home after her coronation was to give her spaniel, Dash, a bath.

7. True. Unlike other members of her family and household, Victoria was remarkably color-blind for her time...and my goodness, I haven't written about her Indian servants yet, have I? Look for that in an upcoming post. :)

Okay...so how did you do?

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