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Queen Victoria and Germany

Doppler, Julia; (1997) Queen Victoria and Germany. Doctoral thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to depict Queen Victoria's changing image of Germany from the beginning of her life until the end of her reign. The Queen's perception of Germany was divided between Prussia on the one hand and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on the other, but only the first one underwent several significant changes. During her childhood, she was taught a positive, if nebulous impression of the smaller German state of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, but this area of interest had to take second place during the first years of the Queen's reign. Queen Victoria's marriage with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha reinforced and eventually completed Queen Victoria's perception of Germany. From now on, the Queen felt a close emotional connection with Prussia, which she transferred to the German Confederation (and later the German Empire) in its entirety. After her husband's death in 1861, Queen Victoria continued to apply Prince Albert's political concepts of Germany to a nation that experienced considerable political and geographical changes, both of which did not find the Queen's approval, since they were no longer in accordance with Prince Albert's political beliefs. As a consequence, Queen Victoria watched the German Empire under the leadership of Prussia with ever growing scepticism. The reign of her grandson Emperor William II eliminated then any remaining emotional identification of the Queen with Germany, whose interest in the German Empire was thereupon limited to a mere concern for family members. The emphasis on Queen Victoria's image of Germany leads to a new evaluation of the British monarch. First of all, she emerges as a sovereign who saw herself as a vital part of the political process, especially in the field of foreign affairs; secondly. Queen Victoria had no monolithical image of Germany, since she clearly distinguished between smaller states and Prussia; and thirdly, the marriage associations of Queen Victoria's nine children provide a remarkable illustration of the Queen's own changing image of Germany.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: Queen Victoria and Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094367
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