Welcome, readers! To celebrate the upcoming royal wedding this weekend, May 19, I’ve teamed up with a few fiction authors to bring you a giveaway featuring novels set in England!
Regency Era: The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd
Victorian: Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano
Edwardian: Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky
World War II: The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin
Contemporary: The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
Legendary royal weddings are the thing now, but what about a legendary royal marriage? One monarch, the very young Queen Victoria, had an epic love story with a fascinating marriage.
At first, the idea of marriage was only agreeable to her because it was better than living with her mother, which was royal protocol for any unmarried royal. They shared a house, but apparently that didn’t mean they needed to speak with each other. And they rarely did.
She first glimpsed Albert at her 17th birthday party and was quickly smitten with her tall and handsome cousin. They played piano duets together and talked easily, then began corresponding when he left. He visited her a few times over the years, and five days into one visit, she eagerly proposed to him. The young queen was utterly smitten.
They soon had a wedding planned, and Victoria chose a bridal gown that was a highly unusual color for her day—white. While most Victorian women simply wore their finest (colored) dress that could be worn again, the queen selected a gown that would best show off her intricate lace and announce her high status (white was only for those rich enough to have plenty of washer women!) Thus began a sudden tradition of white bridal gowns that continues now.
The queen did not like the opulence of her grand wedding, but she wrote eagerly of her new husband in her diary that night: “how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! … to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!” (Hibbert, p. 123; Longford, p. 143; Woodham-Smith, p. 205)
Albert proved an even more dashing hero for the long-reigning queen when he rescued her from an assassination attempt just a short time into their marriage. Riding together in a carriage to visit her mother, the newly-pregnant queen and her husband were fired upon by Edward Oxford. Albert leaped to protect his wife and sovereign, and no one was killed.
The besotted couple went on to have nine children together, who all married royals throughout Europe. The queen despised pregnancy and nursing, and generally thought newborns ugly, yet the couple quickly filled their home with babies.
When Albert died in his early 40s from a short illness, the queen bitterly blamed her son (who was responsible for keeping his father out in the rain one night) and went into deep mourning for the rest of her life.
Despite her own passionate love story, she wasn’t interested in her children having the same. She firmly ended one daughter’s romance with a court librarian, betrothing her to someone of higher station who was much older than she. Her youngest daughter she forbade to marry, ensuring she would always have someone by her side. That was the trouble with being a royal child—one’s mother was also one’s sovereign, and you cannot deny the queen anything.
As we approach another royal wedding in England this week, are you a little envious? Do you wish this royal wedding was your story—or are you glad to have a lower profile life?
Me? Well, I’ll take my Vince any day.
Join us for a great English-themed fiction giveaway! Click the image below to participate and win the books pictured. Best of luck!!