Gilded and enshrined rose the form of Prince Albert. His young, handsome, and warm form stands welcomingly across from the theater that bears his name. Prince Consort… Victoria’s Albert… the love of her so very long life. Is hard to imagine such a huge personality like Queen Victoria ruled with another. When thinking of famous Queens it never quite occurs to you, if they have another half. Mary Tudor essentially ruled alone, she had aged significantly by the time she got her chance. Catherine the Great had her husband murdered so she could have his throne. Elizabeth I denied all suitors. Catherine de Medici, her husband died, and she reigned as Regent… but you get the point. And I guess in theory we don’t know much about Queens in general, usually over shadowed by their husbands.
This is very different it seems. I think because of the modern age, we’re able to see these monarchs as good people, humans rather than figure heads. Technology and our lives here in this age enable us a new sight. Like Princess Diana’s story, we were introduced to her; we saw her wed and we watched her life… and death. She became the sweetheart of the world because we could see it as it happened. If this had been any other age, no one would have known or acknowledged what happened to her. The current Monarchs are always under close scrutiny but mainly because we can see them. But Queen Elizabeth II’s family all seemed to be good individuals. Her Grandfather George V and his wife Queen Mary, who’s rose garden and designs for Regent’s park remain beautiful and sweet. Elizabeth’s father George VI and his wife Elizabeth, better known today as the Queen mother, were young and sweet to their family; the general population remembers them fondly, many pubs have shrine walls to George VI, possibly because he was the king who got them through the war. I can’t say I’m as fond of the current family, but I think that is mainly because I’m very aware of them, and have seen their pitfalls.
Victoria and Albert, well that my friends is an epic love story. I guess one could say it began as an arranged marriage… but to be fair, Victoria could have rejected the match, she was Queen after all. But Albert was so different from the rest, in marrying him she found mutual respect and admiration… and LOVE. Sadly the poor man was never fully welcomed by the English people, though he tried so hard, and did so much good through his wife for the nation, pressuring for their social welfare. Though he was never crowned king, he was eventually given the title Prince Consort and in that mutual respect for one another he was Victoria’s political advisor. Also seemed a very realistic love story, I think perhaps that is what makes it especially lovely, because it can happen and did. And oh how they loved each other. Victoria was beside herself when she lost him to typhoid suddenly. She spent the rest of her life in mourning, because she felt incomplete without him. (Those clothes we so associate her with in her later years were always black) and she traveled with two portraits of Albert. One large one that sat at the foot of her bed on an easel and the other was a small portrait of Albert sleeping which she placed on his pillow, so he would be there when she woke in the morning. I suppose once my thesis is done I would like to learn more about Albert and Victoria. I know I recommend the movies they’ve made, both of the recent ones are amazing.
And some how this story, always reminds me of my parents. The characters are quite different, but I think the love… the love is what reminds me. Being able to watch my mother’s reaction and loss first hand and its intensity sometimes is astounding. My parents, however, were so lucky, because they had almost 40 years together and Victoria and Albert only had 20 with the added stress of leadership. The respect and the endurance of the love, seems to be what is paramount here. And well, that’s what I want. I want to look at my love and think, this was worth it; it makes everything worth it.
Love as current topic. Being back with Graham has been wonderful. Is hard to imagine that we went a year without seeing each other. But it does pain me to think I have to return home in a month and I won't see him for another year. But through that I can't help but smile when I look at him. At least that is something that has always remained consistent, regardless of how my emotions fluctuate. And how much patience we seem to have with each other, I guess that's the test of us as a pair. We have a busy month left and I'm looking forward to doing it all with him.