Children’s Story – The Little Orphan Princess

Queen Victoria was born May 24, 1819. When a child, she was often called “the little Mayflower.” She was not the daughter of a king, and she did not know that she might some day be the queen of England. She was very much like other little girls. She liked to play with toys, and run and play at the seashore.

She had no brothers and sisters, but she had many dolls. The little princess herself made the bodies of some of these dolls, to which she fastened china heads. Others of them, however, were quaint, jointed, wooden dolls, such as few children of the present day have seen, but their grandmothers remember.

The little princess had few playmates, but her dolls were to her as real people. She dressed them like famous men and women she had heard about, representing kings and queens of England, poets, and many other famous literary people. The dolls were all properly dressed in such costumes as were then worn. But not all the dolls of this little maiden were English. Her French dolls represented Napoleon Bonaparte, who was a great French general, Empress Josephine, and some others. Her Russian dolls showed the czar’s uniform of white broadcloth, gold-laced and corded. There were also many dolls in Swiss and Italian costumes. Little Victoria was taught to sew, and her dolls’ costumes were made with the greatest care.

Her father died when she was a baby. Victoria was brought up very carefully by her mother. The king of England was Victoria’s uncle. He had no children, and Victoria’s mother knew that when he died her little girl would be queen. But Victoria knew nothing about this.

Her mother was a sensible woman, and the little princess was brought up in a wise and simple manner. She was taught to be regular in eating, exercising, studying, and sleeping. It is said that as a child her breakfasts consisted of bread and milk and fruit, and that for the evening meal she had bread and milk. Her dinner was also very simple.

Princess Victoria received her education under her mother’s loving care. From ten to twelve every morning and from two to four in the afternoon were regular hours for study. She was taught to speak and to write French and German. Still more carefully was she taught to use her own language well. She was taught history and arithmetic. She was taught to sing and to draw. Nor did her wise mother neglect to teach her to cook, and to sew, and to be useful at home. Victoria learned to spend money wisely, to think before speaking, to be careful of the feelings of others, and try to make others happy.

When she was eighteen years old, all the people of England had a holiday. One of her birthday presents was a piano from her “uncle-king.” Four weeks later, King William IV died. When Victoria received the sad news, tears came to her blue eyes. She was no longer a happy princess; she was a queen.

Queen Victoria tried to govern her people justly. In every way she sought to make them happy. She was always kind to the poor and needy. When an Eastern ruler asked her the secret of England’s success, that noble woman placed her hand reverently on the Bible and said, “That Book is the secret of England’s success.”

Victoria reigned a little more than sixty-three years. When she lay on her deathbed, Dean Farrar, a very dear friend, came to see her.

“Do you think my Lord will come soon?” she asked. “I wish He would come before I go. I would lay the diadem of England at His feet. I would place my country’s crown on His brow. He alone is worthy to wear a royal crown.”

When she died, thousands of people all over the world felt that they had lost a friend.

[Emphasis author’s.]

True Education Reader, Fourth Grade, 179–183.