Explore Queen Victoria’s private life behind her carefully managed public image in this major exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of her birth.
Victoria learned that she was to become Queen when she was 18 years old, while still living at her childhood home of Kensington Palace. She held her first council meeting in the palace’s Red Saloon just a few hours later.
The exhibition will re-introduce Victoria as a young woman and explore her roles as a queen, wife, mother and empress. Rare survivals from her private wardrobe – including a simple cotton petticoat and a pair of fashionable silver boots – provide a stark contrast to the black gowns she was so famous for wearing later in life.
The display will also explore Victoria's complex love affair with India, from the story behind the Koh-i-noor diamond to her friendship with the deposed Maharajah Duleep Singh. Examples of her personal diaries carefully inscribed in Urdu will form a centrepiece of the exhibition.