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The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen…

The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter

by Matthew Dennison

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I've read better...so dull, boring and stuffily written....

Spoiled, allowed freedoms her siblings were not, considered the "prettiest" and co-dependent to her mother....She turned out to be a capable, strong & independent thinker...... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Princess Beatrice was the last daughter of Queen Victoria and Princes Albert. As a baby she petted, shown off, compared to fairies and was gay and delightful. This idyll was smashed with the death of her father. In her grief the Queen wrapped the sleeping Beatrice in one of Prince Albert’s nightshirts and clasped her sleeping daughter to her breast. Although Matthew Dennison thinks this probably apocryphal he concludes that even so it encapsulated their future relationship; the Queen vampire-like in her need for devotion and love from her unresisting daughter. The slow crushing of Beatrice’s lightness and the transformation of her into a dull, heavy, stay-at-home spinster, the Queen’s Benjamin is one of the most striking aspects of Dennison’s sensitive and excellent old-fashioned biography.

For Victoria Beatrice was ‘the flower of the flock’ until she fell in love. Prince Henry of Battenberg was like a real-life Lohengrin and Beatrice besotted. What Queen Victoria did next was to subject her to a psychological war and from May until November 1884 she did not speak to her. Once Beatrice agreed that after her marriage she would still live at home, with the addition of a tame, dashing husband, the Queen began to talk despite ‘such pain’ that she had failed in ‘the hope of keeping your one little ewe lamb entirely to yourself’, as Princess Alexandra sympathised.

Henry and Beatrice were allowed a five day honeymoon. The Queen called on them twice. Eventually Henry escaped, died from malaria and the two women carried on. Beatrice’s daughter the Queen of Spain said of her mother: ‘Her devotion and submission were complete.’ Her reaction on the Queen’s death was devastation: ‘I ... can hardly realize what life will be like without her’. But Beatrice lived on into a world whirling faster with change, wars and revolutions, the last of Victoria and Albert’s princesses.
  Sarahursula | Aug 3, 2013 |
This book provides insight into why Queen Victoria will never be nominated Mother of the Year. Princess Beatrice, the youngest of the Queen's children, was made to be the Queen's personal assistant from an early age. The Queen believed that she had the right to retain her youngest unmarried daughter for this purpose, and that her own happiness was far more important than Beatrice's. The Queen was determined to keep Beatrice innocent, docile, and, most of all, unmarried, going so far as to prevent conversations about marriage from taking place within Beatrice's earshot. When Beatrice, in her late twenties, fell in love and insisted on her right to marry, the Queen was furious, and mother and daughter did not speak for months. Of course, Beatrice still carried out her duties to the Queen during this conflict. Finally, the Queen relented, stipulating the Beatrice could marry, if and only if her future husband, Prince Henry of Battenberg (known as Liko), agreed that the married couple would live under the Queen's roof. Beatrice agreed, of course, and continued to place her mother's needs and desires ahead of her husbands, and later, her own children. This book helps the reader become a bit more sympathetic about Beatrice's censoring of her mother's journals--she re-wrote them out by hand, editing them, and burning the originals--after the Queen's death. This is a terrible loss to historical scholarship, but in this book we understand that Beatrice, as usual, was simply carrying out the Queen's wishes--the story of her life. ( )
  mariabiblioteca | Jun 23, 2011 |
This was a fascinating (& quick!) read. I had really been looking forward to this book & it didn't disappoint. An absorbing & sympathetic biography of Queen Victoria's youngest daughter. It gave you a sense of history without plodding through tedious, unnecessary ancestry, as so many biographies do. ( )
  shalulah | Sep 11, 2008 |
This unpretentious biography of Beatrice, the youngest child of Queen Victoria, in not bad reading. She was born 14 Apr 1858 and died 26 Oct 1944--the last of the Queen's nine children to die. Beatrice lived with the Queen from the time of her birth till Victoria died 22 Jan 1901, even though Beatrice did marry and have four children. The Queen comes through in this account as a self-centered and demanding person, and Beatrice is to be admired for putting up with her mother's foibles. The book is not well-written since it does jump back and forth some in relating events, but still I found it pleasant reading, addicted to royal biography as I am. ( )
  Schmerguls | Aug 16, 2008 |
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'I have a dear devoted child who has always been
a dear, unselfish companion to me'

- Queen Victoria to Alfred Tennyson,
August 14, 1883
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It should not have happened, and never would have done had medical counsel prevailed.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312376987, Hardcover)

An engrossing biography of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter that focuses on her relationship with her willful mother---a powerful and insightful look into two women of signi?cant importance and in?uence in world history.

Beatrice was the last child born to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her father died when she was four and Victoria came to depend on her youngest daughter absolutely, and also demanded from her complete submission. Victoria was not above laying it down regally even with her own children. Beatrice succumbed to her mother’s obsessive love, so that by the time she was in her late teens she was her constant companion and running her mother’s of?ce, which meant that when Victoria died her daughter became literary executor, a role she conducted with Teutonic thoroughness. And although Victoria tried to prevent Beatrice even so much as thinking of love, her guard slipped when Beatrice met Prince Henry of Battenberg. Sadly, Beatrice inherited from her mother the hemophilia gene, which she passed on to two of her four sons and which her daughter Victoria Eugenia, in marrying Alfonso XIII of Spain, in turn passed on to the Spanish royal family. This new examination will restore her to her proper prominence---as Queen Victoria’s second consort.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:04 -0400)

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A chronicle of Queen Victoria's youngest child, Beatrice, explores the close relationship between the princess and her mother, her romance with Prince Henry of Battenberg, and her role as literary executer after her mother's death.

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