Tag Archives: Prince Albert

Costume Sketches for The Young Victoria (2009)

26 Dec

I love period dramas and I love costumes in them! In fact, I love to gaze and admire the costumes so much that sometimes I don’t even care for the film itself; if the costumes are an eye-candy, I will probably enjoy the film as well. Aesthetic is everything. So, maybe I am not the best judge of a particular film itself, but I think it doesn’t take a genius to see that the costumes for the film “The Young Victoria” (2009) are gorgeous! The costume designer Sandy Powell won an Oscar for the costumes she designed for this film and today I wanted to share some of her, seems to be, watercolour sketches which look so vibrant and playful, and more free-flowing and sketchy than a Victorian era fashion plate would be. The film follows Victoria, played by Emily Blunt, from the times she was a Princess Victoria, through her coronation, falling in love with Albert, their marriage and ends with the birth of her first child, daughter Victoria in 1840. The time period is short, covering the 1830s and 1840, but fashion-wise subtle changes can definitely be felt, from puffy 1830s sleeves to simpler 1840s styles which I love very much.

Here is what Powell says about the process of finding inspiration and research for the costumes: “There are a lot of royal portraits of Victoria and the family, so obviously, we started with that. And written material, including her own diaries. She was very specific about her clothing and would describe in great detail what she was wearing and what she did that day, so that was very useful. And after that, I went to Kensington Palace, where there is a museum, and also some of her original pieces of clothing are archived there. We had access to look at those.” And also she emphasised the point of how simple the 1840s fashion actually is: “With the women’s clothes, I don’t think that they are complex. I think they’re quite simple for this period. The most important thing is the undergarment. A woman will have a corset and petticoats on, and that creates the silhouette — the base on top of which the dresses will go. The dresses themselves are very light. They’re made of fine fabrics– silk, mostly — and they just pop over the top of the underwear that’s already created your foundation. So in a way, once an actor has her underwear on, it becomes a question of putting another dress over it.” You can read the entire interview here. Ahhh, to be clad in those long silk gowns, with flowers in my hair, wander the lonely and cold corridors of my palace, only in a dream!

Queen Victoria’s children

21 Nov

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children. Victoria and Albert ruled together and set standards of morality for the entire Kingdom, but their family life wasn’t as perfect as it may seem.

Look at the painting below; it shows Victoria and Albert in ideal setting with their five angelic, fair haired children. But it wasn’t so ideal – it was in fact completely opposite.

1846. queen victoria and family

Queen Victoria adored Albert and lived only for his love but she was quite selfish. She wanted him only for herself and although they had nine children she actually hated being pregnant and constantly giving birth. She loved the process of making babies but she didn’t like the product that came out of that. Little frogs, that’s how she called her children when they were first born. She also refused to breastfed them, and later forbid her daughters doing the same.

Victoria and Albert’s domestic life was a battle field. They constantly argued because she wanted to control everything including her children. Nobody was being spared from her, more often then not, tyrannical nature. She not only controlled her children for the rest or her life but she expected them to be beaten and obey the rules. Their childhood was a nightmare and Queen Victoria was a cold, selfish mother.

1845. Victoria, Princess Royal

Victoria, Princess Royal

Victoria and Albert’s first child was Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa, Princess Royal born on 21. November 1840. She was very studious and intelligent, learning to read and write before the age of five. Victoria was her father’s favourite child and he tutored her in politics and philosophy. She knew hot to cook, grow vegetables and sew – those were the domestic values Prince Albert had installed in their upbringing. She spoke German, as did her siblings, and also Latin and French.

She married Frederick III, German Emperor at the age of seventeen. The marriage proved to be both a love match and a dynastic alliance. They had eight children together. After he died in 1888. she turned to charities and opened many schools for girls. Being a gifted artist in her own right she became a patron of arts and learning and one of the organizers of 1872. Industrial Art Exhibition. She died in August 1901., seven months after her mother Victoria, of breast cancer.

1846. Prince Edward by W.

Edward VII.

Their second child, Albert Edward, was born on 9. November 1841. He was his parents disappointment; he didn’t excel in his studies and he rebelled against rigorous education system. His talents laid in social skills; he had sweet manners, charm, sociability and tact.

He married Alexandra of Denmark and eventually had six children with her. Alexandra loved fashion and glamor and he loved society, balls and … other women. Some of his mistresses were Alice Keppel, Lillie Langtry, Agnes Keyser and Sarah Bernhardt. Edwardian era, described as a golden era of long summer afternoons and garden parties, basking in a sun that never sets on the British Empire, unfortunately lasted only nine years because Edward died on 6. May 1910.

1848. Princess Alice

Princess Alice

Third child, Alice Maud Mary was born on 25. April 1843. She was named Alice to honour Victoria’s first Prime minister, Lord Melbourne who once commented that Alice was his favourite female name. She was the most emotionally sensitive of all her siblings and was once described as ‘caring and compassionate’, but she also had a sharp tongue. Alice was very close to her older sister Victoria and was greatly upset when Victoria got married.

Later she became very close to Edward. Alice married in 1862. to Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse. They had seven children together but Alice died at the age of 35 leaving all her children behind. Her eldest daughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, was only fifteen at the time.
Alice died on 14. December; the same date Albert had died seventeen years ago.

1849. prince alfred, duke of saxe-coburg and gota

Prince Alfred

Prince Alfred was born on 6. August 1844. He married Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia but the marriage wasn’t the happy one. They had six children and only one son who attempted suicide in 1899. and died of complications week later at the age of 24. Prince Alfred died a year later.

1851. Princess Helena

Princess Helena

Princess Helena Augusta Victoria was born on 25. May 1846, the day after her mother’s 27. birthday. Helena was outspoken and lively child and Alfred’s favourite sister. She had many interests; science, technology, horseback riding and boating. She excelled at playing the piano at an early age and was very good at needlework.

She married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and they had five children together. In the 1880’s she showed interest in nursing so she supported Florence Nightingale and eventually became President of the Army Nursing Service. She was plump and although not very beautiful, she was praised for her amber-coloured eyes and wavy brown hair.

1853. Princess Louise

Princess Louise

Princess Louise Caroline Alberta was born on 13. March 1848. From the early years, Louise was intelligent and talented, and her artistic talents were soon recognized. She was witty and she danced the best out of all her sisters.

She became artist and sculptor and married John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll. They had no children and she outlived her husband for twenty four years. Louise died in 1938. at the age of 91.

1850. Queen Victoria with prince Arthur

Queen Victoria with little Prince Arthur in 1850.

Prince Arthur and Prince Leopold

Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert was born on 1. May 1850. He married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia in 1879. They had three children; two daughters and a son.

Prince Leopold George Duncan Albert was born on 7. April 1853. He had hemophilia and died at the age of thirty but he had enough time to marry Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont and have two children with her. His son Charles Edward was actually born four months after his death.

1868. princess beatrice

Princess Beatrice

Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore was born on 14. April 1857. She had sad and melancholic childhood since her father, Albert, died when she was only five years old. Queen Victoria then turned to intense mourning and kept Beatrice to her side for the rest of her life. Beatrice was her Victoria’s favourite child, and although the Queen didn’t like children she considered Beatrice to be attractive. Victoria once described her dearest daughter as “a pretty, plump and flourishing child … with fine large blue eyes, [a] pretty little mouth and very fine skin”. The Queen particularly loved Beatrice’s golden hair which became the focus of her paintings.

The Queen loved Beatrice exquisitely and did not wish her to get married and abandon her. That is the reason Beatrice married at the age of 28 (which was considered old for a Victorian bride) to Prince Henry of Battenberg. They had four children. Beatrice died at the age of 87 in 1944.