Friday, March 29, 2013

Serving Victoria by Kate Hubbard

Oh yes, I am a Downtown Abbey fan. Anything Downton..gossip, behind the scenes, cast interviews and I do have a Free Bates T-Shirt:) So when I saw this book, Serving Victoria on the review list, I jumped at the chance. Hubbard has written a book about the Upstairs Royal household during "Queen Vicky's" reign. It is very interesting the way it all happens in the Royal castle. The Royal "servants" are most likely a cousin, a cousin's cousin, an old friend's sister or sister-in-law. These are mostly Lords & Ladies in their own right. If you were asked by the Queen, you didn't turn her down even though it would mean months of the year away from your own family.
Author Hubbard relies on letters and diaries to glean her information about what went on in the royal household from the time the Queen sat on the throne until her death at the end of the book. A real glimpse into the life of a Queen who is best known for her life long grieving after the death of her husband Albert. What it does give the reader is a real look at the Queen. Her portraits would you believe she was foul and austere but in actuality she was vulnerable, selfish, odd and someone who was very controlling. She never made a move without consulting her husband, Prince Albert. After his death, she herself wondered what would become of her people.
The book tells of Ladies in waiting, Ladies of the bed chamber, Dressers, not to mention Governesses, Teachers of the children, Religious Teachers for the children ( and the Queen had nine children)  .. the list seems endless. I don't think I could have withstood the constant presence of these many people. (And I will never find out since my title Queen Bee is a title without any real Royal significance:)
I enjoyed this book but it not an easy read. There are many people and titles to remember and you need a scorecard to keep track of births and deaths. But, if you enjoy a bit of history and all things Royal, it is worth the read. Available May 2013.

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