Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Apr 30, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 432 pages
21 Reviews

During her sixty-three-year reign, Queen Victoria gathered around herself a household dedicated to her service. For some, royal employment was the defining experience of their lives; for others it came as an unwelcome duty or as a prelude to greater things. Serving Victoria follows the lives of six members of her household, from the governess to the royal children, from her maid of  honor to her chaplain and her personal physician.

Drawing on their letters and diaries—many hitherto unpublished—Serving Victoria offers a unique insight into the Victorian court, with all its frustrations and absurdities, as well as the Queen herself, sitting squarely at its center. Seen through the eyes of her household as she traveled among Windsor, Osborne, and Balmoral, and to the French and Belgian courts, Victoria emerges as more vulnerable, more emotional, more selfish, more comical, than the austere figure depicted in her famous portraits. We see a woman who was prone to fits of giggles, who wept easily and often, who gobbled her food and shrank from confrontation but insisted on controlling the lives of those around her. We witness her extraordinary and debilitating grief at the death of her husband, Albert, and her sympathy toward the tragedies that afflicted her household.

Witty, astute, and moving, Serving Victoria is a perfect foil to the pomp and circumstance—and prudery and conservatism—associated with Victoria's reign, and gives an unforgettable glimpse of what it meant to serve the Queen.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
6
3 stars
10
2 stars
2
1 star
0

Review: Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household

User Review  - Caroline Mcphail-Lambert - Goodreads

Interesting insight into the lives of the people of Victoria's court. At times I found it difficult to follow a timeline and I seemed to get lost, and confused, about when specific events took place, but overall was an interesting read. Read full review

Review: Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household

User Review  - Well-steered - Goodreads

What I liked about it: This book is chock full of fun tidbits about court life under Victoria: one lady in waiting was paid 300 pounds a year - in the 1860s - to hand Victoria a posey of flowers on ... Read full review

About the author (2013)

Kate Hubbard has been a researcher, teacher, and book reviewer. She currently works as a freelance editor. Serving Victoria is her first book to be published in the United States.

Bibliographic information