Dear Papa, Beloved Mama
– An Intimate Portrait of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert as Parents
There have been so many documentaries and articles recently, describing Albert as a tyrannical father and Victoria as a neglectful mother who did not even like her children, that I sincerely hope my new book will go some way to correcting that image. The more research I have carried out about this, the clearer it is that 99% of the criticism centres on the alleged cruel treatment of Bertie, the future Edward VII. I have been actually astounded by the lengths to which his parents went to accommodate his wishes, and, comparing recent reports from the Smithsonian Institute about the best means of educating children, to the methods adopted by Albert and Victoria, it is clear that they were not only doing their best but were at the forefront of a revolution in educational ideas. Also, by comparing Bertie’s childhood to what he would have experienced in a Public School at the time, one can see that his was not the horrendous childhood that is often described by sensational newspapers and TV documentaries today.
I realise that much of the book will be controversial as it flies in the face of the current, fashionable desire to criticise the people of the past, but I firmly believe that it is time to rethink the endless criticism and to recognise that both parents were in so many ways ahead of their time.
The book is based on the years up to 1861 and the death of Prince Albert. Clearly everything changed after that, and Victoria made many mistakes regarding her children, but I am already working on a companion volume covering the later years and, once this book is released (hopefully by mid June), more information about the next one will be available.