A Little Background
Since 1976 I’ve been reading nearly every royal book I could find. I’ve learned to be more discerning and now skip the quickly published books on newly engaged couples, royal infants, etc. But I never miss at least a quick glance at any royal book I come across. I read, with interest, but did not review, Deborah Cadbury’s previous House of Windsor book–Princes at War. To be honest, I simply forgot to review it! It was worth a read.
With the PBS Victoria series so popular, this new book was published to an eager audience, most of whom would have no idea of the many, many ties between the various royal houses or that Queen Victoria and King Christian IX of Denmark, are the ties that bind nearly every house to each other. Add in dear Albert’s and Victoria’s shared uncle Leopold (the widower of the woman who would have been Queen instead of Victoria and later King of the Belgians) and you have rats nest of family ties.
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This book does a nice, laymen’s level, look at all of the marriages “arranged” or “encouraged” by Victoria for her various children and grandchildren. Many people know that today’s Queen, Elizabeth, and her husband Prince Philip are relatives of some sort. These marriages hold that key among others.
Personally, there was little new information presented here, but I enjoyed it all anyway. I am weakest on the Romanian link so I did thoroughly enjoy expanding my knowledge of that branch of the extended family.
For avid views of Victoria or of Netflix’s series The Crown, or others new to the world of the Hosues of Saxe Coburgh Gotha and Windsor, I highly recommend this very readable book.
Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking…. by Deborah Cadbury.