visiting the queen.

8 May

you know, queen victoria was a fascinating lady. she fiercely led the british empire for like 60 years or something, bolstered most of europe’s monarchies with her progeny and – perhaps more uniquely – was a diva trendsetter.

(why do we all wear white wedding dresses? well good old vicky did it first. what a minx.)

no but in all seriousness, the more i learn about queen victoria, the more i find her supremely interesting.  and while i may not agree with her politics, the least i can do while in kolkata is visit her monument.

before you look at the pretty pictures, the one other thing you should know about vicksters is that she didn’t do anything small scale. even after her death, magically enough.

and now, queen victoria’s modest monument:

the first stone to victoria’s gigantic memorial was laid in 1906 by her son, edward VII five years after her death.  the building wasn’t completed however until 1921 under the reign of her grandson, george V. now if that ain’t familial devotion, i’m out.

imperialism is a tough case to crack.  while i genuinely enjoy visiting these memorials, monuments, statues and whatevers – i truly have a difficult time wrapping my head around their purpose and the politics of the time. i mean, while i was snapping away today i couldn’t help but wonder: “it’s gorgeous, but what the hell were these people thinking?”

well…after 20 years of hard labour and zillions of dollars, my insightful conclusion is that they just really really really wanted us to remember victoria.

but – no point in worrying about their questionable logic now!

what i do plan on investing future brain power into however is expanding my knowledge about victoria’s family: her sons, her grandsons, her great-grandsons and her great-great-granddaughter, or elizabeth II as we know her best.

and as a true closet history nut i can’t wait to dive in. because if nothing else, vicky and her descendents know how to keep things interesting.

13 Responses to “visiting the queen.”

  1. Hannah May 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    You know my opinions on the Brits. I can’t wait until our days of debates until we figure out if this Victoria minx was really good or bad for India. Or if we’ll ever know.

    I do expect a monument like this from you though, Al. I’d like you to start commissioning it now. Although you should get your inspiration from the Taj Mahal as it is a bit prettier. Mkay? Thanks.

    • Al May 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      i don’t think we can ever know. it’s like, where would they be without colonization, maybe in a 100 years war with each other? who knows. it’s impossible to know, although some african countries can give us a good idea. but then theres arguments both sides there too. too many factors at play.

      and my monument would be bigger. obviously.

  2. Jennifer May 8, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    ooohhhh I love all that history stuff too! Just coz these people managed to be born as a king or queen, duke or duchess, prince or princess, knight or knave, who says they were the right person for the job of running an empire? I think my grade 1 teacher, Miss Campbell, would have been a great leader. Or Oprah. Or even Levi, in the hard to pronounce kingdom of Iwantmytummyrubbed.

    • Al May 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      if oprah ran the world we’d all be hugging and giving away cars 24/7. i mean, not a bad deal, but things cant be peachy all the time i guess.

      i almost spit out my dinner when i read the levi comment. well played, j.wills.

  3. barnet May 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    Don’t get me started…. Oops too late .
    If you must believe in sovereignty be sure it is personal sovereignty.
    I offer this.

    Are yew avin’ a laff..

    • Al May 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      hahahaha this is great…and yes, i am avin a laff. always.

  4. A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) May 9, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    Little Toria was a strange nut. Good thing you’re now our Empress of India. Queen Al, Empress of India…has a nice ring to it, EH? Besides, little icky vicki married her cousin and money aside, that, among other things in her life, were just wrong. But she did have servants, like our Al….

    • Al May 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      hahaha good point, but everything in historical context now. everyone married their cousins…if you didn’t it was weird. thank god times have changed. i feel bad for the old girl, she really loved him too.

      but yes, in general i’d say she was a bit power crazy. but in kind of a charming way, maybe.

      • A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) May 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

        ya and she was born from the luckly sperm bank so it’s hard to admire her stature…almost like the Donald who everyone thinks is a self-made man but aside from the public persona he has created few recall that he started by inheriting $100,000 million and his father’s business. now go help the little guys get started on their run for Indian leadership…do they have presidents in INDIA???!!! hehehe.

      • A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) May 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

        btw. the only people i ever knew that married their cousins were my grandparents. don’t ask.

  5. ica May 9, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    Your princess al stands !! AAb ur right. Empress of india sounds fancy huh ! As long as you can be away from your kingdom in a year. Run it from afar. Lol

    • Al May 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      i am running it from afar…you’re so right. so so so right. does that mean bear is my royal subject? i want him to wear some kind of suit.

      • Jessica Hynes May 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

        Try and get a copy of the Indian film – ‘The Chess Players’, made by Satajit Ray (thats how you say it, don’t know if its how you spell it) Its a really good film about the fall of the Raj and the way the British took it all just because they COULD. Richard Attenborough’s in it. Its interesting for US because its an Indian perspective. Also watch GAHNDI – made by Richard Attenborough and marvel at the fact that the crowd scenes were not CGI’d – there really were 100,000 extras! X

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