Queen Elizabeth II has released the diaries of Queen Victoria, the only other British monarch to have ruled for 60 years. The queen wrote a personal note on the new website
. She explains her reasons for releasing the diaries, which also include Victoria's many illustrations and drawings. The release is part of the Queen's own Diamond Jubilee:
These diaries cover the period from Queen Victoria's childhood days to her Accession to the Throne, marriage to Prince Albert, and later, her Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
Thirteen volumes in Victoria's own hand survive, and the majority of the remaining volumes were transcribed after Queen Victoria's death by her youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, on her mother's instructions.
It seems fitting that the subject of the first major public release of material from the Royal Archives is Queen Victoria, who was the first Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee.
It is hoped that this historic collection will make a valuable addition to the unique material already held by the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University, and will be used to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the past.
At the ceremony at which the website went live, the Queen was asked if she kept journals. The monarch replied that hers will not be published, which made the journalists laugh.
The website is maintained by Oxford University's Bodleian Library, and is a fantastic resource. Victoria was rather frank about her assessments of people an things, and the entries give an interesting peek at history, including her love for her beloved Prince Albert, whose death at the age of 42 sent her into mourning for decades.
Photo: Royal Archives