February 2, 2015

February 2, 1901: Queen Victoria's Funeral

The young Queen Victoria by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, c. 1843
The picture shows Queen Victoria in younger days, of course. When she died she was 81 years old, and had reigned for 63 years and 216 days -- the longest reigning British monarch, and the longest reigning queen regnant in the world. She had grown stout and dowdy, and had worn black since her husband had died, nearly 40 years earlier.

Victoria had planned her own funeral, a military one, which she thought proper for the head of the British army, and a soldier's daughter. She wore a white dress and the veil she had worn at her wedding. A plaster cast of Prince Albert's hand and one of his dressing gowns was placed by her side. In her right hand, carefully hidden beneath a bunch of flowers, was a picture of John Brown and a lock of his hair.

After lying in state for 2 days, Victoria was interred in Frogmore Mausoleum beside her husband. As she was laid to rest, it began to snow.

Pictured: Painting of the young Queen Victoria by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, c. 1843.

No comments: