Sex Secrets Of The Royals, Part 4 (Queen Victoria)

- May 3rd, 2012

Victoria

This creeps me out, just saying it, but I think it’s something we have to face and accept: Queen Victoria was a bit of a nymphomaniac.

 

I know, I know, it’s hard to reconcile the public prudery of the woman who gave her name to an age of straight-laced rectitude with the private passion you have to assume is associated with serious lustfulness.

 

But the facts speak for themselves. And, actually, Victoria speaks for herself too — in private correspondence and in some prurient passages from her diary that weren’t ripped out and burned by one of her image-protecting daughters after Victoria’s death in 1901.

winterhalter_1843_victoria

Known as “the secret picture,” this languid, sensual portrait of the 24-year-old Victoria by Franz Winterhalter was a birthday present to Albert from his wife in 1843. Albert kept the painting in his private chambers and it has only recently been seen by anyone outside the Royal Family and their attendants.

 

Victoria was just 20 (although she had been queen for more than two years) when she proposed to her German cousin, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in the fall of 1839. Yep, Victoria popped the question, not Albert.

 

They were married in February 1840 and Victoria immediately began popping out the nine children she and Albert would have over the next 15 years.

victoria_royal_family_01

Now there’s nothing wrong with having nine children (if you can afford them and have the patience to put up with that much cacophony) but there’s ample evidence to show Victoria preferred the act of creation to the process of child rearing.

 

After her youngest child, Beatrice, was born in 1857 the 38-year-old queen was warned by her doctor, Sir James Reid, that any more pregnancies were too dangerous. “Oh, Sir James,” wailed Victoria, “Am I not to have any more fun in bed?”

 

Victoria-and-Albert

Right from the beginning of the marriage, Victoria was enthusiastic in the bedroom and generally considered the sexual aggressor in the relationship. One passage in her private journal rhapsodizes about “heavenly love-making.”

 

And she wasn’t shy talking about it — even to her prime minister.

 

Here’s what Victoria had to say in a letter to her first PM, the libidinous Lord Melbourne, about her wedding night:

 

“It was a gratifying and bewildering experience… I never, never spent such an evening. His excessive love and affection gave me feelings of heavenly love and happiness. He clasped me in his arms and we kissed each other again and again.”

 

I just can’t see the present Queen writing such a letter to her first prime minister, Winston Churchill.

 

Elizabeth-smile

As the family grew, Victoria had Albert install a complicated automatic lock system on his bedroom door that could be activated by a bedside switch. Why? So that any impromptu lovemaking would not be interrupted by prying children.

victoria-albert-children

After Albert’s early death at age 42 in 1861, Victoria went into a long period of deep mourning and seclusion.

 

She only began emerging from that black period when Albert’s gamekeeper ghillie from his Scottish estate at Balmoral was brought to Osbourne, her house on the Isle of Wight, to act as the queen’s personal groom.

Ghillie-John-Brown-and-Victoria

Rough, foul-talking John Brown — “fascinating Johnny Brown” to Victoria — had an established, casual relationship with Victoria from their time together in Balmoral but once he was in Osbourne, the two became inseparable intimates.

 

They spent most evenings drinking Begg’s Best whiskey while Brown told his queen dirty stories. Then they retired for the night to adjoining rooms.

 

Victoria’s daughters were known to jokingly refer to Brown as “Mama’s lover” and, in the late 1860s, rumours began spreading — with some published in republican journals — that Victoria had secretly married John Brown.

some-of-queen-victorias-dogs

Although Victoria addressed Brown as “darling” in letters, it is unlikely she married the man and even more unlikely — almost impossible — that the queen secretly gave birth in Switzerland to a daughter fathered by Brown, as other gossip of the day suggested.

 

As for letters, Victoria carried on a very saucy, flirtatious correspondence with one of her later prime ministers, Benjamin Disraeli, who wrote romantic poetry for her.

 

But there is tantalizing postscript to the Brown marriage rumours.

 

When Victoria died in 1901, she was buried according to her own precise instructions: In her wedding dress (much let out) with a plaster cast of her beloved Albert’s hand — plus a photo of John Brown, a lock of Brown’s hair, several of his letters … and his mother’s wedding ring in her hand.

 

Go figure.

 

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8 comments

  1. Jane says:

    Victoria is as wonderful then and as beautiful today as our Queen Elizabeth ! How lucky we are in this ! Jane

  2. Pat Paterson says:

    Royals are a waste. Fancy hats don’t impress me.

  3. veronica says:

    i am fascinated to read about the royal histories and everything!

  4. Catherine Mary Rankin says:

    Always fascinated with the British Royal Family History ,their lives , loves, their faults, their courage, some good some bad,some eccentric. After all they are only human mortals and perhaps not so normal ?? as we are !!!

  5. Julia says:

    Really? She is a nymphomaniac because she said positive things about her sexual experiences and took a lover years after her husband died? She liked to lock her door when she had sex so the kids wouldn’t come in? This is ridiculous. She just enjoyed sex. Good for her. This is not scandalous at all.

  6. Nora says:

    I enjoyed reading her story and I was happy to see that she enjoyed her married life to the fullest. I do not see any reason to call a nymphomaniac. It seems that she was a sensuous woman who loved her husband and enjoyed sex with him. After his passing she did the same with her lover. What is so wrong about that?

  7. Joan says:

    This is all fun to speculate about, but the idea of QV marrying this guy is ridiculous. The poor woman was brought up under the Kensington System at the hands of her mother and Conroy. It had some success, but not as expected. It rendered Victoria needy for a safe harbor in the midst of chaos. First she had Lehzen, her tutor. She was replaced by Albert with whom she enjoyed a robust sexual relationship, as well her dependency on him which grew over time. This woman slept with Albert’s night shirts and reached out to touch that cast of his hand for the rest of her life. She kept Albert’s things exactly as they were at the moment of his death until Edward VII got his chance to destroy it all after Victoria’s passing.
    It makes perfect sense that having a living breathing memento of Albert would appeal to
    her. John Brown worked for Albert and it was Albert who assigned him the job of leading
    Victoria’s horse. When John Brown, too, died young, it was like losing Albert twice. Remember, Victoria was not allowed to have friends or playmates as a child. So friendships and gifts given to her sincerely would be treasured in a way that was effusive,
    perhaps overblown. Lehzen, Albert, Brown and the Indian all had rooms adjoining the
    Queen’s much to the consternation of the household. Remember, Victoria was raised
    having to sleep with somebody nearby. She may have resented it in her youth, but it
    gave her comfort later in life. Victoria asked to be buried with some of John Brown’s letters.
    I’ll bet those were juicy considering he probably started working as a stable boy when he
    was 10, 12 years old. I doubt he took a couple years off to study at Oxford. He was probably barely literate at best. Mrs. Brown, indeed. She was called Mrs. Melbourne as well. What I think unforgiveable is that Edward VII destroyed his father’s rooms and packed
    off his things to God knows where, and that Beatrice edited her mother’s diaries to suit her
    own interpretation of history and destroyed the originals. It is unfortunate that the vision, wisdom, and character that Albert brought to the Monarchy apparently died with him. Victoria was right to mourn his loss.

  8. Joan says:

    Okay, so we have Glamor Shots 1843. It is a lovely portrait that a wife had made for her husband and is hardly sexually overt by today’s standards. Victoria is a woman so she is called a nymphomaniac. Really, the male versions were all promiscuous in generations before and after. Why call Victoria names? Albert was apparently no fumbler. I can’t imagine how many tries it took to produce those nine children, and it is suspected that Victoria suffered from post partum depression. It was also found upon examination after her death that she was herniated and prolapsed down there from pushing out all those babies, which makes the rumors that she delivered a baby from John Brown in her FORTIES even more ridiculous. Going back to Victoria’s
    childhood which was void of tenderness or affection, it is no wonder that she might equate
    sex with love. Further, her comment to her doctor is reasonable considering that abstinence was the only form of birth control available at the time. Finally, of course the
    Queen had to be the one to propose. It was protocol not hot bloomers that made it necessary. I can’t speak for confidences shared between QV and Lord Melbourne. However, in previous administrations the Queen’s reproductive activities was a topic of
    great interest to the Prime Minister and the Court. I doubt that Elizabeth II had any such
    conversation with Winston Churchill, however, he is not known to have been caught up in
    sexual scandals or to have enjoyed spanking his female servants.

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