Queen Victoria


Queen Victoria


In the early years of their marriage, Victoria and Albert visited Florence several times, greatly impressed by the city’s architectural treasures. Of these, the Brunelleschi dome surmounting the cathedral was their personal favorite. Victoria returned to Florence some years after Albert’s death to find that the dome had been magnificently restored. She ordered the carriage to stop in the piazza outside the cathedral and rolled down the window. Opening up the locket that hung around her neck, she turned the miniature of her beloved husband to face the building, so that he could share with her the splendor of the newly restored dome. Then, after a few moments’ silent contemplation, she closed the locket and drove away.


We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.

~Queen Victoria
Biographical Note: 

Queen Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom (1837–1901). She came to the throne on the death of her uncle, William IV, and during her long reign built up the prestige of the British Crown. The rather stuffy rectitude of her personal life and her devotion to duty exemplified nineteenth-century Britain. She married (1840) her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819–61), by whom she had nine children. Her devotion to him, which continued after his death, is legendary. Her involvement with policy-making sometimes overrode the proper bounds of a constitutional monarchy, resulting in an uneasy relationship with her ministers, particularly William Gladstone.