The Victorian Age was marked by the reign of Queen Victoria. At that time, the British Empire was at the top of its power and, for a long time, no other monarchy surpassed the duration of the queen’s rule. Queen Victoria was on the throne from 1837 to 1901 and only a few years later, Queen Elizabeth overtook her great-great-grandmother. The Victorian era was also a time that was subject to significant changes and offered a lot of curiosities. That applied to economic as well as technical and moral aspects of life, but the following novelties still make us smile today.
One fact that still makes us giggle now is that Queen Victoria had a strange phobia as a child. She was afraid of bishops, which was not a good prerequisite for a future regent. Victoria also faced another moral dilemma when she was already crowned as the queen and wanted to become engaged to her future husband Albert. But since she was in rank above him, she had to make a formal request. Any other approach would have been inappropriate.
We Are Not Amused!
A famous quote attributed to Queen Victoria does not actually come from her. People twisted the words in her mouth. Everyone knows the saying “We are not amused!”, but truth be told, Queen Victoria might have not even said these words at all. This fake piece of news exists to this day. Also, the regent was a target of numerous assassinations. She survived a total of seven murder attempts. Particularly bizarre are two of them, they took place within two days, in the same area, at the same time.
But that wasn’t a coincidence; it was deliberate. On May 29, 1842, John Francis carried out the first attack on the Mall in London. The journeyman wanted to get rid of the queen who was coincidentally passing by. But that attempt failed. No shot was fired from his weapon and the assassin was able to escape. Queen Victoria then made herself into a decoy the next day as she rode past the same place at the same time again. The authorities hoped to encourage John Francis to try again and he did. But this time, the Queen rode much faster than the day before and the guards were there to arrest the man successfully. John Francis’ motives were never revealed.
The era of Queen Victoria was considered to be particularly prudish. People did not speak openly about legs, even if the conversation was about table legs. To emphasize the then famous noble pallor, the women drank vinegar to keep their complexions pale and, in addition, they painted veins on their bodies. People thought little of the preservation of archaeological finds at the time too. Victorians unwrapped Egyptian mummies during tea parties as an attraction for guests and sometimes mummy bandages were used as medicine or even wall plaster. A lot has changed in society since then, but the reign of Queen Victoria is still thought of as a golden age.