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The Irony for Lady Anne Somerset speaking about Queen Victoria at The National Liberal Club


It was rather ironic that Lady Anne Somerset addressed The Oldie about her latest book on Queen Victoria, at The National Liberal Club, yesterday because as Gladstone said of Queen Victoria,"there is no greater Tory in the land!"

"It's wonderful to be talking to you here today, the only thing that is perhaps a bit awkward is that the event is taking place in The National Liberal Club!"

The club was founded in 1882 by William Gladstone for the Liberal cause - certainly not a cause close to Queen Victoria's heart! Queen Victoria had an eye for the men, strongly supporting Lord Melbourne's Whig movement, only because "she simply adored the enchanting Lord Melbourne", finally accepting the Tories in 1841, "what does she owe them (the Tories)? Nothing but hate!"

Politicians these days can sit easy. Nothing compares to Queen Victoria with her "absurdly high notions" of the amount of political control she ought to exercise. She despised Gladstone whom she challenged, but when Tory, Benjamin Disraeli, became Prime Minister in 1874, he knew how to work the monarch successfully:

"Every one likes flattery and when you come to monarchy, you should lay it on with a trowel".