Queen Victoria in her journal – 20 June 1837

(public domain)

“I was awoke at 6 o’clock by Mamma, who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past two this morning, and consequently that I am Queen. Lord Conyngham knelt down and kissed my hand, at the same time delivering to me the official announcement of the poor King’s demise. The Archbishop then told me that the Queen (Adelaide) was desirous that he should come and tell me the details of the last moments of my poor, good Uncle; he said that he had directed his mind to religion and had died in a perfectly happy, quiet state of mind, and was quite prepared for his death. He added that the King’s sufferings at the last were not very great but that there was a good deal of uneasiness. Lord Conyngham, who I charged to express my feelings of condolence and sorrow to the poor Queen, returned directly to Windsor. I then went to my room and dressed.

Since it has pleased Providence to place me in this station, I shall do my utmost to fulfil my duty towards my country; I am very young and perhaps in many, though not in all things, inexperienced, but I am sure, that very few have more real good will and more real desire to do what is fit and right than I have.

Breakfasted, during which time good faithful Stockmar came and talked to me. Wrote a letter to dear Uncle Leopold and a few words to dear good Feodora. Received a letter from Lord Melbourne in which he said he would wait upon me at a little before 9. At 9 came Lord Melbourne, whom I saw in my room, and of course quite alone as I shall always do my Ministers. He kissed my hand and I then acquainted him that it had long been my intention to retain him and the rest of the present Ministery at the head of affairs, and that it could not be in better hands than his. He then again kissed my hand. He then read to me the Declaration which I was to read to the Council, which he wrote himself and which is a very fine one. I then talked with him some little longer time after which he left me. He was in full dress. I like him very much and feel confidence in him. He is a very straightforward, honest, clever and goods man. I then wrote a letter to the Queen. At about half-past 11 I went downstairs and held a Council in the red saloon. I went in of course quite alone, and remained seated the whole time. My two Uncles, the Dukes of Cumberland and Sussex, and Lord Melbourne conducted me… I was not at all nervous and had the satisfaction of hearing that the people were satisfied with what I had done and how I had done it. Receiving after this, Audiences of Lord Melbourne, Lord John Russell, Lord Albemarle, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, all in my room and alone. Saw Stockmar. Saw Clark, whom I named my physician.

Wrote my journal. Took my dinner upstairs alone… At about 20 minutes to 9 came Lord Melbourne and remained till near 10. I had a very important and very comfortable conversation with him. Each time I see him I feel more confidence in him; I find him very kind in his manner too. Saw Stockmar. Went down and said goodnight to Mamma etc. My dear Lehzen will always remain with me as my friend but will take no situation about me, and I think she is right.1


  1. Queen Victoria in her Letters and Journals

About Moniek Bloks 2666 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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