Tuesday 3 March 2009

Vikki of Windsor

That Queen Victoria eh? Phwoar - bit of a goer, wasn't she? Yet again - prompted on this occasion by the release of the movie Young Victoria - we are being told to tear up all our preconceptions about Victoria being a straitlaced old bird, a miserable asexual killjoy, the gloomy Widow of Windsor, not amused, etc, etc. Well excuse me, but is there anyone alive who actually has these preconceptions any longer? For decades - since well before Mrs Brown - we've been told all about Victoria's happy sex life with Albert and her close, on this account at least quasi-sexual, relations with a succession of important men in her life. Indeed, the dear old Queen's popular image is now - following a string of books, documentaries and journalism ramming the message home - that of a near-nymphomaniac, incapable of living without male attention. The man or woman in the street is more likely now to think she had a succession of torrid affairs with all comers, up to and including John Brown and her Indian manservant. All of which is rather more of a caricature than the previous grim image. A truly revisionist view of Victoria now would be one that emphasised her gloomy killjoy side - and we'll probably be getting it in the course of time: tear up all your preconceptions about Victoria being a sex maniac, up for anything in trousers, etc, etc.
Maybe the problem is our compulsion to sexualise great figures from the past. The same thing has been done ad nausem with that most tempting of targets, the Virgin Queen - though oddly, with Cleopatra, a reverse process is under way, playing down the sensuality, playing up the hardheaded politics. Ah well, that's history...


  1. Boudicea turns me on, the thought of her crashing through Romans, whip in hand, leading the Iceni, covered from head....anyrate, Connerly certainly gave Dame Judy one, in among the Deeside pine trees.

  2. I’m surprised by your admission of a compulsion to sexualise great figures from the past (though why you’ve taken to using the ‘Royal’ pronoun ‘our’ I don’t know). Which figures do you have in mind….Ghandi? Admittedly provocative in that strange nappy arrangement. Wellington – a tendency toward leather, rubber and uniforms? Perhaps Lawrence of Arabia – back to the nappies again. I think you would be better keeping these things to yourself. These blog things are monitored you know!

  3. Curse you David - already you have probed my darkest fantasies...
    Actually I think I meant women - we (we?) tend to take men's sexuality for granted, the dirty dogs, but the thought of queens (royal-style) at it seems somehow more interesting. Or something...

  4. Um, I think you need to check out Catherine the Great, Nige.