WE TWO ~ Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals by Gillian Gill
"In the Queen's childhood, her mother had adjured her to grow tall like her father and his royal brothers, but Victoria had been unable to comply. Her supporters claimed she was five feet one inch; her detractors gave her a bare four ten. In the gutter press, she was known as "Little Vic," which rankled with her. Fortunately, horses, thrones, and sweeping staircases were standard issue for a queen, and Victoria made full use of them."
"In the evenings and at weekends when the queen was, as it were, off duty, Melbourne, Palmerston, Melbourne's sister, Lady Emily Cowper, Lady Cowper's daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren, together with various members of the charming and rakish Paget clan, were key members of the Queen's domestic circle. The Pagets were relative newcomers to the English aristocracy and had risen in society in large part because they were handsome, energetic, and fun, and thus invaluable in relieving the tedium of court life, especially for the sovereign."
"Palmerston was also amusing and well informed, and in the long, tedious palace evenings in the year after [Albert's] marriage, the prince enjoyed discussing European affairs with the foreign secretary. Albert was gratified when his line of argument seemed to win, failing to realize that Palmerston had lived at court for far too long to fall out with Her Majesty's husband over the port."
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