Her Majesty's Dinner, Windsor Castle 1894
This beautiful and interesting menu marks a dinner at Windsor Castle in England in 1894 when Queen Victoria was on the throne. At the top is the “English” Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom – Scotland has its own version – with the phrase Dieu et mon droit, which is French for God and My Right. There is an etching of Windsor Castle and a delicate frame that includes traditional floral heraldic emblems such as thistles, Tudor roses and crowns. The menu has been handwritten in ink by a servant, in a mixture of French and English, and dishes include Windsor soup, roast beef and wild duck
Born in Kensington Palace in 1819, Queen Victoria was crowned in 1837 when she was aged 18. She remained on the throne until her death in 1901 – a reign of 63 years and seven months. The young British monarch married Prince Albert, who was German and who was brought up in the duchy of Saxe Coburg. They were first cousins, born within three months of each other and even delivered by the same midwife.
Theirs was a great romance. The couple had nine children and Prince Albert was her trusted political advisor until his death in 1861 from typhoid fever. Grief-stricken, Queen Victoria wore black for the rest of her life. She reigned for another 40 years. There was scandalous gossip when it appeared that she had become close to John Brown, one of her Scottish manservants. This relationship was the subject of the film Mrs Brown.
This menu is dated about six years before Queen Victoria’s death and illustrates the grandeur of life in a Royal residence.
Queen Victoria's reign has been surpassed by her great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth, the current British monarch, who celebrated 65 years on the throne in February 2017.
Courtesy Lou Greenstein
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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