Queen Victoria's Children

In fairy tales, the prince and the princess fall in love and live happily ever after. Reality is quite a different story. This new three-part series examines one of the most tempestuous of royal relationships, that of Queen Victoria with her husband, Prince Albert, and their nine children.

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To the outside world Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their family seemed the embodiment of domestic bliss, but the reality was very different, writes historian Jane Ridley. The marriage between the two first cousins - the young Queen and the clever, handsome German prince - was a love match. Over 17 years, nine children were born: four boys and five girls.

Paintings and photographs projected an image of a virtuous, devoted young couple surrounded by obedient, fair-haired children. Though sexually infatuated, the young couple were locked into a power struggle. Albert took over more and more of Victoria's work as queen as her pregnancies forced her to step aside. Victoria was conflicted: she admired her "angel" for his talents and ability but she deeply resented being robbed of her powers as queen.

Excerpted from the BBC News Magazine. » Read full article.

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