Monday, June 17, 2013

John Brown, 1871

John Brown, 1871, with some of Queen Victoria's many dogs.

Brown was have been a great deal more than a "faithful servant" and a "good friend."  They slept in adjoining rooms and Queen Victoria commissioned a portrait of him and, after his death, she had a life-sized statue of him built on the grounds of Balmoral Castle. 

When Victoria died,
she was buried with a lock of Brown's hair and his photograph in her hand (hidden by flowers), and a ring worn by Brown's mother and given to her by Brown on her right hand. 

The marriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, which preceded the arrival of John Brown, was an arranged one between first cousins. Victoria proposed to Albert after a formal "courtship" of only four days. They were both 20 years old.

Far from being a frigid prude, Queen Victoria was a randy young woman, though she did not have much encouragement.  Prince Albert installed several locked doors between his bedroom and hers in order to keep her out!  There were rumors that Prince Albert was gay, but if so someone did his part as there were quite a number of children and Queen Victoria herself compared herself to a rabbit.

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