Saturday, 25 September 2010

More stuff from Queen Victoria


I started this thread two days ago with a quotation from Queen Victoria which surprised me. It had to do with the plan to enlist two of her grandsons in the Royal Navy.

Here it is again:


"Will a nautical education not engender and encourage national prejudices and make them think that their own Country is superior to any other?  With the greatest love for and pride of one's own Country, a Prince, and especially one who is some day to be its Ruler, should not be imbued with the prejudices and peculiarities of his own Country...."

I found that quotation in Kenneth Rose’s biography of King George V  (published by Alfred A. Knofp in 1984).

Kenneth Rose has some other quotations from Queen Victoria which lead me to understand that she was (for her era) an enlightened Monarch.   Here is one.

First, re her representative in India (the Viceroy) Queen Victoria wrote:

“The future Vice Roy must really shake himself more and more from the red-tapist narrow-minded Council and Entourage. He must be more independent, must hear for himself what the feelings of the Natives really are, and do what he thinks right and not be guided by the snobbish and vulgar, over-bearing and offensive behaviour of our Civil and Political Agents, if we are to go on peaceably and happily in India, and to be liked and beloved by high and low – as well as respected as we ought to be – and not trying to trample on the people and continually reminding them and making them feel that they are a conquered people”.

(Victorians wrote long sentences!).

Second, in 1868 Queen Victoria wrote this:

“Danger lies not in the power given to the Lower Orders, who are daily becoming more well informed and more intelligent, and who will deservedly work themselves up to the top by their own merits, labour and good conduct, but in the conduct of the Higher Classes and of the Aristocracy.”

( Italicizations are as printed in Rose's book)



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