Life After Albert
By Carl Rudolph Sohn (1845-1908) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Victoria had always preferred the company of men to that of women and two men in particular eventually persuaded her to resume her public role.
These were Disraeli, who supported her restyling as Empress of India, and her Scottish servant John Brown. Victoria’s closeness to Brown, who was resented by the court for his brusque and familiar manner towards the monarch, was a cause of scandal and there was even a rumour that they were secretly married.
Towards the end of the queen’s life similar scandal surrounded her attachment to an Indian servant nicknamed ‘the Munshi’.
Nonetheless, by the time of the Diamond Jubilee in 1897 she was greatly loved and admired. (She was reported to be much moved when one spectator shouted out ‘Well done, old girl!’)