On Queens, Their Consorts and Spaniels

David and I braved the potential snowpocolypse last night and went to the opening night of the film “The Young Victoria“, as I was unwilling to let a few snowflakes deter me from the film that I said I would be lining up to see opening day.

It didn’t disappoint. Sure, there are a few historical inaccuracies and a few details are overromanticized, but it is a movie. On the whole, the largest inaccuracy is probably making the young Victoria more confident and less flighty than a woman of eighteen years of age, particularly one who had spent her first eighteen years of life in relative isolation. I can forgive that detail, because after all, I am sure that Victoria herself would like to be remembered in that better light (Who wouldn’t prefer their eighteen year old versions of themselves to be portrayed in a more confident way?).

This movie combined so many of the things that I love referencing British history, a sweet Victorian romance based on mutual respect, and most importantly, a loyal spaniel companion, Dash. Dash was so beloved, that his epitaph at Windsor reads: “His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit. READER, if you would live beloved and die regretted, profit by the example of DASH. ” (Truer words couldn’t be said of a beloved pet.)

Victoria’s Dash
If there is a better way to spend a snowy night than watching this good natured film, I am not sure what it is. Not only that, but this film solidified that I will be re-reading and reading new biographies of Victoria (here is a link to my favorite biography of her) during the Christmas holidays in snowy Utah with David’s family. Victoria’s Daughters, by Jerrold M. Parker has been on my list for quite some time (ever since I read Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III by Flora Fraser, to be exact). It is now moving up on the priority list.
Here is a last interesting note. Sarah Ferguson, Fergie (the original one), produced this film. Here is the Washington Post’s interview with her (over lunch at my favorite Georgetown cafe, Leopold’s Kafe, an excellent spot to discuss the mostly German, Victoria).

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