Explore Queen Victoria's long and extraordinary life - in her own words.
Inspired by the Queen's own journals and featuring displays of personal objects in the rooms where she once lived, this exhibition gives an intimate account of Queen Victoria's fascinating life.
Princess Victoria was born on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace where she grew up alone with her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and spent what she would later recall as a lonely and unhappy childhood.
She became queen at just 18 years old and held her first Privy Council meeting in Kensington Palace’s Red Saloon.
Victoria Revealed explores the many, often surprising aspects of Queen Victoria’s character: devoted wife, dedicated mother, lover of the arts, devastated widow and powerful stateswoman, with a reign spanning 63 years.
You will also gain insight into the life of Prince Albert, the love of Victoria’s life. Here he is revealed to be a passionate, moral individual who was deeply involved in the life of the nation.
Learn how Victoria retreated from public life following the death of her beloved Albert, and how the celebrations of her golden and diamond jubilees finally returned her firmly to public life.
A glittering suite of jewels specially commissioned for Queen Victoria by her beloved Prince Albert joins the Victoria Revealed exhibition for 2018.
Comprising a magnificent diamond and emerald tiara, emerald necklace, earrings and brooch, this matching suite of jewels showcases both the exquisite workmanship of nineteenth century goldsmiths, and Prince Albert’s own flair for design.
The collection constitutes the only known example of a tiara design by a consort for his Queen. Presented to Victoria in 1845, the diadem was created to complement a necklace formed of nine oval emerald clusters, each set within a border of cushion-shaped diamonds.
The accompanying pendant earrings and an impressive 20ct emerald and diamond brooch, both of which were also gifts from Albert, were worn by Victoria for her son Prince Alfred’s christening as well as portraits by Franz Xavier Winterhalter in 1846 and 1859.
Also joining the Victoria Revealed display in 2018 is the majestic Fife tiara, given to Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Princess Louise on her wedding day. A gift from Louise’s husband the Duke of Fife, it comprises hundreds of diamonds ranging in weight from one to ten carats, and features a spectacular row of pear shaped ‘swing set’ diamonds, which would have dazzled onlookers when worn.
Another of Louise’s jewels, a remarkable Kokoshnik style tiara with graduated pavé-set rays of diamonds in white and yellow gold, takes inspiration from the cockscomb style headdresses of the Romanov court, and reflects the familial web created by Queen Victoria’s descendants throughout Europe.
As with Queen Victoria’s diamond and emerald parure, the Kokosnhik tiara goes on display at Kensington Palace on long-term loan from the estate of the 3rd Duke of Fife.
The exhibition is comprised of more than 300 magnificent items from Historic Royal Palaces’ own collections and 11 British lenders.
It includes iconic, beautiful and deeply personal objects: from the dolls Victoria made as a little girl to a stunning pink Ottoman embroidered jacket, showcasing her crucial role as a diplomat.
Also featured are paintings, photography and sculptures by Victoria’s favourite artists, including Sir George Hayter, Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Sir Edwin Landseer.
Excerpts from journals and letters, along with reports from contemporary commentators give insight into the extraordinary life of the woman who ruled an empire and whose name defined an age.