Monday, May 24, 2010

Queen Victoria

On May 24, 1819, the ruler that links many of our current generation's grandparents to Sir Walter Scott was born.  At the time the future Queen Victoria was born, her grandfather George III was on the throne.  Sir Walter Scott lived about 13 years after her birth, so he did not live to see her ascend to the throne.  But he did meet her.  This meeting, when Victoria was still an infant is recorded in Sir Sidney Lee's "Queen Victoria, a biography".

"...The Duchess of Kent was fond of presenting her daughter to her visitors at Kensington, who included men of distinction in all ranks of life. William Wilberforce describes how he received an invitation to visit the Duchess at Kensington Palace in July 1820, and how the Duchess received him' with her fine animated child on the floor by her side with its playthings, of which I soon became one.' On May 19, 1828, Sir Walter Scott ' dined with the Duchess ' and was ' presented to the little Princess Victoria—I hope they will change her name (he added)—the heir-apparent to the crown as things now stand. . . . This little lady is educating with much care, and watched so closely, that no busy maid has a moment to whisper, " you are heir of England."' But Sir Walter suggested ' I suspect, if we could dissect the little heart, we should find that some pigeon or other bird of the air had carried the matter.'..."

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