10 Lessons from Queen Victoria’s Favorite Prime Minister – 5-Minute History
Queen Victoria was totally lost without him. She retreated Queen Victoria: The Empress of India and Her Relationship with Benjamin Disraeli. Lord Melbourne was not a match for the young Queen Credit: Justin Slee/ A play like The Audience, which relates the present queen's relations with her prime ministers, Disraeli, on the other hand, laid on the flattery with a trowel, and . review - a tip-top nature documentary that played out like a drama. Six years later the Queen's misery was much alleviated by the appointment of the Conservative Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. asked for advice how to handle the Queen.
The chronology is seriously wonky. We see a lot of the palace kitchens, which seem oddly empty.
The young Victoria most certainly did not fancy her fat, ageing prime minister
The rules for period drama are far from clear. Philippa Gregory recently announced that she has become so incensed by filmmakers changing the carefully researched history of her novels that she makes them sign a clause agreeing not to tamper with the facts. This is perhaps going a bit far. Period drama can get away with fiddling the facts when it conveys a psychological or historical truth.
In the film The Young VictoriaLord Melbourne is portrayed as a flinty-hearted toff who teaches Victoria to despise the poor, while Prince Albert redeems her by teaching her to have a social conscience. This is sentimental fantasy and undermined a good film. By establishing Melbourne as the hero, Goodwin turns the earlier film on its head. For the teenage monarch who had grown up in a bubble of royal intrigue at Kensington Palace, learning to separate her public duty from her private life was crucial.
Queen Victoria painting by Winterhalter, Gladstone seriously miscalculated by lecturing the queen and treating her like a public meeting.
- Queen Victoria and her Prime Ministers
- Benjamin Disraeli
- The young Victoria most certainly did not fancy her fat, ageing prime minister
She loathed him, and made no attempt to hide it. Disraeli, on the other hand, laid on the flattery with a trowel, and wrote her intimate letters which gave her the sense that she and he were governing the country together. As for Prince Albert, he makes his entry in the ITV drama not as a German romantic, standing bedraggled but beautiful at the foot of the stairs at Windsorbut as a Teutonic control freak. Corollary to this was the belief that Indians were not like the British and it was unfair to treat them as such.
The success of the on-going tour was not the only motivation for Queen Victoria to request for the title of Empress of India.
First of all, Victoria in her mind was already empress since the Government of India Act if not even earlier. This view was exploited by politicians such as Lord Ellenborough who as Governor-General in the s was extending her authority in India through the annexation of territories and facilitating relationships with the various Indian princes and the Crown independent of the East India Company. These bonds were cemented with the exchange of gifts, correspondence and crucially the establishment of an honours system with the creation of the Order of the Star of India.
The latter was established following the suppression of the mutiny as a way to reward the princes who remained loyal to the British. There was fear on the British side about a possible Russian incursion into India while the Russians were suspicious of British commercial attempts into Afghanistan and Central Asia. The antipathy towards Russia also spilled over closer to home. The courtship opposed by both sets of parents — Queen Victoria was a passionate Russophobe who was not thrilled with the idea of a Russian daughter-in-law while Tsar Alexander II and his wife were loath to lose their only daughter on who they relied on heavily.
Despite misgivings, the marriage went ahead and there arose issues of precedence as the Duchess of Edinburgh would rank third behind the Princess of Wales and the Princess Royal. In reality Queen Victoria was not as status conscious as her continental counterparts however she was annoyed at continental royals maintaining that her children were socially inferior to the children of a Russian tsar or an Austrian emperor.
What aggrieved her further was after German unification inthe new emperor Wilhelm I father-in-law of her oldest daughter Victoria Princess Royal and Crown Princess of Germany thought that he ranked higher than Victoria who was a mere queen.
The debates in Parliament and general public opposition to the imperial title tell us a lot about how the British saw themselves as a people. And while it may be true that Rome flourished under the reigns of these five men and that the succession was peaceful, it did not detract from the fact that a cursory glance at the list of Roman emperors, the great majority obtained the throne through the sword and died by the sword.
Opposition to the title also featured in the press.
Queen Victoria: The Empress of India and Her Relationship with Benjamin Disraeli
They did not foresee the popular opposition to the title of Empress with its negative connotations not only to Rome but also its association with autocratic European states such as Russia, Germany and Austria as well as France with its Napoleonic past. Is that the course of government, which has since been pursued in India? The Prince of Wales meanwhile only learned of the passage of the Royal Titles Act not through official channels but through the newspapers while still on tour. This was something that the press picked up on as shown in a cartoon by John Gordon Thomson for Fun magazine which depicted a bewildered Prince of Wales upon seeing his mother Queen Victoria riding in state atop an elephant and attended by the assorted paraphernalia of Indian royalty.