Queen Victoria was, of course, the only other monarch to date to have achieved a Diamond Jubilee.
Queen Victoria was the longest serving British monarch, reigning as Queen from 1837 to 1901 and as Empress of India from 1877. In total 141 volumes of her journal survive, numbering 43,765 pages.The illustrations are split between:
- journal illustrations She married Prince Albert in 1840 and she is most prolific between 1841 and 1860 - her child-bearing years. The journals contain a number of pen and ink illustrations by the Queen - often of her children, relatives and people in her household - and the dogs! In other words exactly the same sort of subject matter as that found in the journals of those who like illustrating their journals.
- sketchbook illustrations These are mainly pencil and watercolour studies. Prior to marriage she seems to have enjoyed sketching people. Some of her drawings are more studied than others. She carried on sketching people until the mid 1840s when she starts to develop landscape studies of the places she lived and the places she visited - such as this “View from the Walk near the Dee in Balmoral Grounds”. Watercolour, by Queen Victoria - and “Torquay”. Watercolour made on board the Royal Yacht, the Victoria and Albert, by Queen Victoria. She's an accomplished amateur painter in watercolours.
|Scottish Landscape Studies. Page of watercolours by Queen Victoria|
© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012 © Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest
The website www.queenvictoriasjournals.org is very well atttuned to accessibility issues and has tried very hard to make both navigation and viewing of the Journals and illustrations as easy as possible.
The project is a partnership between the Royal Archives, Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University and the online publisher, ProQuest who should be commended for their efforts in bringing these illustrations into public view.
Other Jubilee activities
In addition to the digitisation of Queen Victoria’s Journals, the Royal Archives has undertaken the following projects in Diamond Jubilee year:
- An online partnership project has been undertaken withwww.findmypast.co.uk so that the public may trace their ancestors who have worked for the Royal Household. Free access to the records, which range from the seventeenth century to 1920, will also be available in the National Archives’ Reading Rooms in Kew.
- A selection of Queen Victoria’s school copy books will be available for viewing at the National Archives at Kew for the first time.
- “Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Scrapbook”, a website focused on Queen Victoria’s life and reign, including her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, was launched by Buckingham Palace in April 2012. It contains documents from the Royal Archives, paintings and photographs from the Royal Collection, as well as audio and film clips. See www.queen-victorias-scrapbook.org.
- Over the Diamond Jubilee period, the Twitter account @QueenVictoriaRI will tweet selected excerpts from Queen Victoria’s Journals, illustrated by links to photographs, paintings and original documents. This account will run from 24th May until 7th June.