- A handwritten and handpainted envelope from Queen Victoria.
Few British rulers have cast as long a shadow as Queen Victoria. Her reign lasted 63 years, which stood as the record up until great-granddaughter Elizabeth II surpassed her in 2015.
Britain was at the very height of its wealth and power during the Victorian era. Its colonies covered almost a third of the world’s land mass, making up the largest empire in history.
Queen Victoria married her beloved husband Albert in 1840. His sudden death in 1861 at the age of 42 was a blow from which she never recovered. She remained in mourning black for the rest of her days.
A circa 1855 envelope, featuring the embossed coats of arms of Queen Victoria and husband Prince Albert.
Victoria - a skilled artist - is believed to have hand painted the coats of arms herself.
“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester," Victoria writes in black ink.
Victoria has then signed it majestically and simply: “The Queen”.
Victoria sent the envelope to her aunt and confidante, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester (1776-1857).
A rare insight into the artistry, colour and character of Queen Victoria.
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