Daily Mail Weekend Magazine - - NEWS -

Vic­to­ria and Al­bert had a set daily rou­tine. She pre­ferred to break­fast pri­vately in her rooms at Buck­ing­ham Palace, but felt guilty about this so most morn­ings she ate with close fam­ily at 9am.

After­wards, the cou­ple walked in the palace gardens, which Al­bert had stocked with birds and trained them to come when he whis­tled. They then worked to­gether for a cou­ple of hours on gov­ern­ment busi­ness and of­ten spent an hour draw­ing (right).

Lunch was at 2pm and was usu­ally a fam­ily meal. The prime min­is­ter came in the af­ter­noon on most days. At around 5pm, Vic­to­ria and Al­bert went for a ride, ei­ther in a car­riage or on horse­back. Back at the palace they read. Vic­to­ria loved po­etry and con­tem­po­rary nov­els – Di­nah Craik’s John Hal­i­fax, Gen­tle­man was a favourite – and some­times Al­bert read aloud to his wife which she en­joyed. They then spent time in the nurs­ery.

The evening meal be­gan at 8pm and in­volved their en­tourage and any vis­i­tors. It was not un­usual to sit down with 50 peo­ple. On oc­ca­sion the royal chil­dren were al­lowed to join in. Princess Vic­to­ria, in par­tic­u­lar, was a pre­co­cious child and en­joyed adult com­pany. Af­ter din­ner they might go to the opera or the­atre, or stay in and play mu­sic to­gether. Both adored the mu­sic of Felix Men­delssohn.

Now and again, there would be a large so­ci­ety event, like a ball. Vic­to­ria loved to dance, and Buck­ing­ham Palace was a lively place. It was ex­tremely rare for the cou­ple to spend even a sin­gle night apart. De­voted to each other, the vast ma­jor­ity of their time was spent to­gether.

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