Meet the real woman behind the public monarch
Explore Queen Victoria’s private life behind her carefully-managed public image in Victoria: Woman and Crown, a major new exhibition at Kensington Palace.
The new display, created to mark the 200th anniversary of Victoria's birth, will re-examine how she balanced her role as a wife and mother with that of Queen of an expanding empire.
Top image: Queen Victoria by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1856. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
Victoria learned that she was to become Queen when she was 18 years old, while still living at her childhood home of Kensington Palace. She held her first council meeting in the palace’s Red Saloon just a few hours later.
Victoria: Woman and Crown will re-introduce Victoria as a young woman and explore her roles as a queen, wife, mother and empress. Rare survivals from her private wardrobe – including a simple cotton petticoat and a pair of fashionable silver boots – provide a stark contrast to the black gowns she was so famous for wearing later in life.
The display will also explore Victoria's complex love affair with India, from the story behind the Koh-i-noor diamond to her friendship with the deposed Maharajah Duleep Singh. Examples of her personal diaries carefully inscribed in Urdu will form a centrepiece of the exhibition.
Exclusive English fine bone chine tea sets inspired by our historic royal palaces. Collect our traditional Palace china afternoon tea sets, with a design including elements from all our royal palaces, our regal Palace Crest collection or our charming vintage style Palace Rose floral tea set.
Choose from our stunning collection of jewellery, including pieces inspired by the palaces and the people who lived in them. These beautiful collections include necklaces, rings, earrings, charm bracelets, bangles and pendants.