Queen Victoria and her youngest daughter

The following letter was published in The Daily Telegraph on 1 March under the heading, “That’s my Baby”.

SIR - It is hard to think of short, stout Queen Victoria dancing gracefully on stage, but the new ballet in which she is depicted with her adored, youngest daughter Beatrice, always referred to as Baby, will help make their extraordinarily close relationship much better known (Arts, February 25).

In 1884 Beatrice, then 27, fell in love with dashing Prince Henry of Battenberg. For six months the Queen refused to speak to her, passing notes with her orders for the day over the breakfast table. She wrote to her eldest daughter about her “horror and dislike of the most violent kind for the idea of my precious Baby marrying”. 

Charming Prince Henry won her round, leading her to believe “there is no kissing etc (which Baby dislikes)”.

After marrying Beatrice, he seems to have developed an interest in her elder sister, Princess Louise, who complained of his “attempted relations with her, which she had declined”. Some very complicated manoeuvres could have been introduced into this interesting new ballet.

Lord Lexden 
London SW1