Not surprisingly, Queen Victoria is one of my favorite historical figures.
When she was born, Victoria was fifth in line of succession to the throne. She was the only living legitimate child of her father and of his three older brothers. Shortly after her birth her father and grandfather died within a week of each other. Following the deaths of two uncles, Victoria became heiress presumptive to the reigning king, her uncle King William IV.
William died at 71 and Victoria became queen at the age of 18. She ruled for 63 years and 7 months until her death, the longest reign of any monarch in English history.
Victoria’s childhood was lonely. She described it as “rather melancholy.” She was raised without childhood friends, secluded from almost everyone. Victoria’s mother and her mother’s comptroller (and lover), Sir John Conroy, wanted to keep the princess isolated, weak and completely dependent on them.
Although she continued to despise Conroy, she and Dash became inseparable. One time when she went on a yacht, Dash jumped into the water and swam after her. On the day she was crowned queen, she came home and gave Dash a bath.
When she met the tall, handsome blue-eyed Albert, it may have been love at first sight. She wrote in her diary about the “tight white trousers” he wore. But it may have been the way he and Dash got along that completed the great love. She wrote in her diary that “Albert played with and fussed over Dash.”
Victoria married Albert, a first cousin, and they produced nine children and 42 grandchildren. Maybe if he had complained about dog hair or if Dash had snapped at him, history would be different.