Queen Victoria (or Mrs.Brown?)
After Albert, the Prince Consort died in 1861, she took John Brown, his manservant, as her own.
Queen & Prince
Victoria met her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, when she was seventeen years old.
Three years later she proposed to him.
They were married on 10 February 1840 and had nine surviving children.
The Widow of Windsor
Albert died of typhoid fever on 14 December, 1861.at Windsor Castle and Victoria entered a state of mourning, wearing black for the remainder of her life.
She avoided public appearances, rarely set foot in London in the following years. Her seclusion earned her the name "Widow of Windsor."
As time went by, Victoria began to rely increasingly on a manservant from Scotland, John Brown who had served her late husband.
During her life time there were many innuendos that there was a special relationship or secret marriage between her and Brown.
The facts are that after Albert's death she appointed Brown her personal servant, graning him numerous medals and having paintings and statues made of him.
Victoria’s children and ministers resented this and stories circulated that there was something improper about their relationship.
The Queen’s daughters joked that Brown was "Mama’s Lover," while Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby wrote in his diary that Brown and Victoria slept in adjoining rooms "contrary to etiquette and even decency."
The diaries of Lewis Harcourt contain a report that one of the Queen’s chaplains,
Rev. Norman Macleod, made a deathbed confession repenting of his action in presiding over Queen Victoria’s marriage to John Brown.
Debate continues over what credence to give this report.
Harcourt was a child when MacLeod died, did not receive the confession directly but from Macleod’s sister to the wife of Henry Ponsonby, the Queen’s private secretary, to Harcourt’s father, then to him.
The strongest evidence of the relationship is by a recently discovered letter written by
Victoria shortly after Brown’s death to Viscount Cranbrook:
‘Perhaps never in history was there so strong and true an attachment,
so warm and loving a friendship between the sovereign and servant …
Strength of character as well as power of frame - the most fearless
uprightness, kindness, sense of justice, honesty, independence and
unselfishness combined with a tender, warm heart … made him one
of the most remarkable men.'
'The Queen feels that life for the second time is become most trying
and sad to bear deprived of all she so needs … the blow has fallen
too heavily not to be very heavily felt…’
One may interpret this as they may.
However, when Victoria died, in her coffin, were placed two sets of mementos, at her request.
By her side was Albert’s dressing gown, but in her left hand was a lock of Brown’s hair, along with a picture of him.
In 2008 it was learned that Victoria’s body wore the wedding ring of John Brown’s mother, placed on her hand after her death.
Questions as to why a lock of Brown’s hair and a wedding ring that belonged to his mother plus a portrait of him, yet only Albert’s dressing gown were requested by Victoria does suggest a deeper relationship than Master/Servant between Queen Victoria and John Brown.