The panel of historians and biographers on the program include A.N. Wilson, author of Victoria: A Life, Jane Ridley, author of Bertie: A Life of Edward VII and Queen Victoria: Queen, Matriarch, Empress, Jules Stewart, author of Albert: A Life and Christine Kinealy, author of A New History of Ireland.
I discussed Queen Victoria’s legacy in Canada with Janet Davison at CBC News. While Queen Victoria never visited Canada in person, all four of her sons and her daughter Princess Louise spent time in Canada and set precedents for future royal tours. Queen Victoria also exerted political and cultural influence over the development of 19th century Canada and her birthday remains a Canadian holiday to the present day.
Queen Victoria was born 200 years ago today on May 24, 1819. Her sixty-three year reign had a profound impact on the history of the monarchy and her legacy endures to the present day. I discussed Queen Victoria’s legacy with Aurora Bosotti at the Daily Express along with other historians of the Queen’s reign including Marlene Koenig, author of Queen Victoria’s Descendants, Julia Baird, author of Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire and Helen Rappaport, author of numerous books about Queen Victoria and the Victorian era including Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death That Changed The Monarchy.
My new article in the Historica Canada Canadian Encyclopedia is about
Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, politician and governor general of Canada from 1883 to 1888. Lansdowne was the first governor general to travel the entire length of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He also mediated a dispute with the United States concerning fishing rights. During his time in Canada, he enjoyed outdoor sports and social life, becoming the skip of the Rideau Hall curling team in the winter and salmon fishing on the Cascapedia river in the summer.
I discussed the history of royal parenting and how royal babies were fed over the past few centuries with Aly Walansky at Today. The debate concerning whether royal mothers should nurse their own children dates from the late eighteenth century when French Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau objected to the prevalence of wet nurses employed to feed and care for infants. Marie Antoinette briefly nursed her daughter Marie-Therese over the objections of her own mother, Empress Maria Theresa and Queen Victoria’s daughters nursed their children despite the Queen’s distaste for the practice. The controversy surrounding royal mothers nursing their own children continued until the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II’s children in the mid 20th century.
I discussed the history of royal births with Janet Davison at CBC News including the experiences of the Tudors and Queen Victoria. The arrival of a royal child prompts discussion of centuries old traditions but each generation of the royal family also introduces their own innovations, responding to the cultural trends of their times and shaping these trends. With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby due any day, there is growing interest in how the arrival of the latest royal child will shape parenting trends in the 21st century.
My book, Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting has been featured in Town and Country Magazine as one of the best books about Queen Victoria. I’m honoured to be on such an impressive list that includes Queen Victoria: 24 Days That Changed Her Life by Lucy Worsley, Serving Victoria by Kate Hubbard, Becoming Queen Victoria by Kate Williams and Victoria the Queen by Julia Baird
I discussed Canadian Women’s Responses to Royal Tours from the Eighteenth Century to the present with the Royal Studies Journal, expanding on my article on the same topic that was published in the journal last year. In the interview, I discuss a variety of themes including the role of royal women as patrons of philanthropic endeavours benefiting women’s education, health and endeavours, changing views of women’s suffrage over the course of the 19th century, and the popular perception of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Louise as viceregal consort of Canada.
My recent interview with Lisa Ryan for The Cut, New York Magazine, examines the history of royal reporting including how the royal family has shaped its own image over the centuries from the reign of King George III to the present day.
Here an excerpt from the interview:
“This isn’t a new game; reporting on royal gossip has been happening for a while, though it’s certainly evolved under different monarchs’ reigns. “It’s varied over time, as there’s a balance between maintaining the mystique of the monarchy and ensuring members of the royal family have a private life to some degree, but also responding to a very strong public interest in royalty and life behind palace doors that has existed for centuries,” royal historian Carolyn Harris, the author of Raising Royalty: 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting, told the Cut.”
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
“In the 19th century, when foreign royalty was marrying into the Royal Family, sometimes political differences complicated personal relationships,” said Harris. Queen Victoria found herself banning dinner conversation about a conflict between Denmark and Germany because of personal tensions amid family members.
And then there’s the conflict that erupted with the arrival of Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American who was at the root of Edward VIII’s abdication from the throne in 1936.”