|Victoria, Albert & their 9 children|
In the last decades of her life, Victoria earned the nickname 'The Grandmother of Europe' and on her death The Economist referred to her crown as "a golden link." That's hardly surprising when you run through the list of the matches she made and the offspring they produced. Take a breath and here they are.
|Victoria walks Princess Beatrice down the aisle|
|Victoria with some of her children & grandchildren|
The obituaries and funeral reports of the time frequently allude to apprehension over the future, which is hardly surprising at the end of such a long reign.
|Funeral cortege, 4 Feb 1901, Manchester Guardian|
Silence seems to be something we are sorely lacking at the moment, every political moment is dominated by noise. Don't get me wrong, I'm no monarchist and have no desire to return to out-moded and, in the case of Empire, repugnant political systems. My thoughts here are simply about connections: trace back any of our tangled ancestral DNA and we're all a mix of more countries and customs than most of us know beyond a generation or two. The Economist obituary concludes its section on the strengths and weaknesses of the Queen with: "The hearts of the people are full of grief ... but there is no solid reason for political fear." On the anniversary of the death of that particular link across Europe, I wonder how many of us can feel the same.