On the Job


A revealing detail from the life of the 18-year-old Queen Victoria, newly crowned in 1837:

At twelve o’clock she presided at a Council, ‘with as much ease as if she had been doing nothing else all her life’; after which she received the archbishops and bishops, to whom she said nothing, but showed an extreme dignity and gracefulness of manner. This ceremony finished and the duties of the day at an end, she retired with slow stateliness; but forgetful that the door through which she passed had glass panels that allowed her retreat to be seen, she had no sooner quitted the council chamber than she scampered light-heartedly away, like a child released from school.

From Joseph Fitzgerald Molloy’s The Sailor King: William the Fourth, His Court and His Subjects, 1903