. . . a Queen was born. If you're not sure which Queen, here's a hint: a British Queen. That really narrows it down as the 19th century saw the same person on the throne from 1837 through the end of the century. Yes, the Queen in question is Victoria. She may be primarily remembered for two things - her long reign (63 years!) and her decades-long mourning for Prince Albert, but there's so much more to appreciate about Queen Victoria.
And while Hollywood isn't usually the first place to look for historical accuracy, I think you wouldn't go wrong starting with The Young Victoria and perhaps ending with Mrs. Brown. (Okay, I know there are questions about the accuracy of MB, but it's a great movie. If you're not convinced, here's another fact - it stars Judi Dench!) And The Young Victoria leads me to think of the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, who teamed up with Martin Scorsese to create the movie. I recently saw the Duchess of York at a fundraising luncheon and she spoke about the movie, primarily in the context of keeping dreams alive and working towards them - even if it takes 17 years before they come to fruition (as it did for the movie).
And on the subject of Sarah Ferguson, recent news stories aside, she is an engaging speaker. She was warm and funny and forthcoming about her mistakes without indulging in the usual tell-all. If you have an opportunity to see her, my advice is to go - you don't need to be a Royal Watcher to appreciate her message - or share her affection for Queen Victoria.
And if you're still not convinced about The Young Victoria, I have one more surprise up my sleeve. The screenplay was written by Julian Fellowes who wrote Gosford Park, which is one of my favorite movies. (Monarch of the Glen fans also know Fellowes for his portrayal of Kilwillie, famous for his Gentleman's Relish and deep pockets.)
So, my tribute to Queen Victoria has rambled quite a bit, proof that English teachers are right - you need an outline before writing. For a different sort of tribute that doesn't ramble at all, check out the special tea honoring Queen Victoria's birthday at Eastlake Victorian. You'll want to sit down and enjoy the fare . . .