Queen Victoria, the only other monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, kept a personal diary of her thoughts and feelings throughout her lifetime. The collection of private journals has been carefully curated, and also edited by her daughter Princess Beatrice, since the Queen’s death in 1901. In recent years, a partnership between The Royal Archives, the Bodleian Libraries, and academic online publishing house ProQuest has endeavoured to scan the pages of Queen Victoria’s diaries to make the collection more easily accessible to the descendants of her subjects scattered all across the globe through the miracle of modern technology. Now that the project is complete, Queen Elizabeth II has officially opened the online resource, but not in the traditional manner as one would cut a ribbon or unveil a plaque… H. M. simply pressed the button on a remote control to activate the website online across the globe. H. M. also gave a short speech to mark the occasion:
‘In this the year of my Diamond Jubilee, I am delighted to be able to present, for the first time, the complete online collection of Queen Victoria’s journals from the Royal Archives.
‘These diaries cover the period from Queen Victoria’s childhood days to her accession to the throne, marriage to Prince Albert, and later, her Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
‘It seems fitting that the subject of the first major public release of material from the Royal Archives is Queen Victoria, who was the first Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee.’
To read Queen Victoria’s diaries online, written in her own hand, please visit the official website at www.queenvictoriasjournals.org.
Excerpts from Queen Victoria’s diaries will be uploaded onto Twitter during the course of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations by @QueenVictoriaRI.