We did not sleep much

Queen Victoria at her writing desk
Photo: W & D Downey/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

On 10th February of 1840, four years after first setting eyes on each other and despite some initial resistance from the Royal Family, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in a grand and elaborate ceremony at St. James’ Palace in London. This diary entry was written by the Queen the following day. The couple went on to have nine children and had a long and happy marriage until Albert’s death in 1861. Victoria mourned her husband’s passing for the rest of her life and often wore black in his memory.

The Diary Entry

When day dawned (for we did not sleep much) and I beheld that beautiful angelic face by my side, it was more than I can express! He does look so beautiful in his shirt only, with his beautiful throat seen. 

We got up at ¼ p. 8. When I had laced I went to dearest Albert’s room, and we breakfasted together. He had a black velvet jacket on, without any neckcloth on, and looked more beautiful than it is possible for me to say. At 12 I walked out with my precious Angel, all alone—so delightful, on the Terrace and new Walk, arm in arm! Eos [Albert’s greyhound] our only companion. We talked a great deal together. We came home at one, and had luncheon soon after. Poor dear Albert felt sick and uncomfortable, and lay down in my room… He looked so dear, lying there and dozing.

Further Reading

Queen Victoria kept diaries and journals from the age of thirteen and barely paused until days before her death, by which time she had filled 122 volumes. Most of the originals were destroyed after being expurgated by her daughter; those originals that remain (essentially 1832 to 1840), along with the many cleaned up volumes that cover the rest of her life, live at The Royal Archives. In 2012, to mark sixty years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II gave permission for The Royal Archives to put every page of Queen Victoria’s journals online for all to see. Give it a go, here. All 43,765 pages have been digitised and transcribed and annotated.

Diary entry reprinted by kind permission of The Royal Archives / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022. VIC/MAIN/QVJ/1840: 11 February.

One response to “We did not sleep much”

  1. […] yesterday’s entry from none other than Queen Elizabeth, written in […]

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