Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/570

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Victoria
Victoria
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Bancrofts, appearing on 27 Sept. 1879 as Lady Deene in James Albery's 'Duty,' an adaptation from Sardou's 'Les Bourgeois de Pont Arcy.' She again supported Edwin Booth at the Princess's Theatre on 6 Nov. 1880, as the Queen in 'Hamlet'; on 27 Dec. as Francesca Bentivoglio in 'The Fool's Revenge'; and on 17 Jan. 1881 as Emilia in 'Othello.'

After playing at the Adelphi Theatre, Olga Strogoff in H. J. Byron's 'Michael Strogoff' (14 Mar. 1881), she fulfiUed her last professional engagement at the St. James's Theatre, under the management of Messrs. Hare and Kendal on 20 Oct. 1883, when she effectively acted Mrs. Rogers in William Gillette and Mrs. Hodgson Burnett's 'Young Folks' Ways.'

Mrs. Vezin was a graceful and earnest actress, of agreeable presence, with a sweet and sympathetic voice, a great command of unaffected pathos, and an admirable elocution. Comedy as well as tragedy lay within her compass, and from about 1858 to 1875 she had few rivals on the English stage in Shakespearean and poetical drama. The death of an only daughter (by her first marriage) in 1901 unhinged her mind. At Margate, on 17 April 1902, she eluded the vigilance of her nurses, and flung herself from her bedroom window, with fatal result. She was buried at Highgate cemetery.

[Era, May 1862 and 26 April 1902; Henry Morley's Journal of a London Playgoer, 1866; Pascoe's Dramatic List, 1879; Dutton Cook's Nights at the Play, 1883; Pascoe's Dramatic Notes, 1883; May Phelps and Forbes Robertson's Life of Samuel Phelps, 1886; Scott and Howard's Blanchard, 1891; Joseph Knight's Theatrical Notes, 1893; Athenæum, 26 April 1902.]

J. P.

VICTORIA ADELAIDE MARY LOUISE (1840–1901), Princess Royal of Great Britain and German Empress, born at Buckingham Palace at 1.50 p.m. on 21 Nov. 1840, was eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The princess was baptised at Buckingham Palace on 10 Feb. 1841. Lord Mebourne, the prime minister, remarked ’how she looked about her, conscious that the stir was all about herself' (Martin, Life of Prince Consort, i. 100). Her English sponsors were Adelaide, the queen dowager, the duchess of Gloucester, the duchess of Kent, and the duke of Sussex. Leopold I, king of the Belgians, who was also a godfather, attended the ceremony in person, while the duke of Wellington represented the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bestowed unremitting care on the education of the princess. From infancy she was placed in the charge of a French governess, Mme. Charlier, and she early showed signs of intellectual alertness. At the age of three she spoke both English and French with fluency (Letters of Queen Victoria, ii. 3), while she habitually talked German with her parents. By Baron Stockmar she was considered 'extraordinarily gifted, even to the point of genius' (Stockmar, Denkwürdigkeiten, p. 43), and both in music and painting she soon acquired a proficiency beyond her years. Yet she remained perfectly natural and justified her father's judgment : 'she has a man's head and a child's heart.' (Cf. Lady Lyttelton's Letters, 1912, passim.)

Childhood and girlhood were passed at Windsor and Buckingham Palace, with occasional sojourns at Osborne House, which was acquired in 1845, and at Balmoral, to which the royal family paid an annual visit from 1848. In August 1849 the princess accompanied her parents on their visit to Ireland, and on 30 Oct. following she was present with her father and eldest brother at the opening of the new Coal Exchange in London. Strong ties of affection bound her closely to her brothers and sisters, and to her eldest brother, the Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII [q. v. Suppl. II], she was devotedly attached. She shared his taste for the drama, and in the theatricals which the royal children organised for their parents' entertainment (Jan. 1853) she played the title role in Racine's 'Athalie' to the Prince of Wales's Abner. She joined her brothers in many of their studies, and impressed their tutors with her superior quickness of wit.

At the age of eleven the princess royal first met her future husband. Prince Frederick William, who came to London with his father, Prince William of Prussia, for the Great Exhibition of 1851. On Prince Frederick William she made an impression which proved lasting. In 1853, when the prince's father again visited England, a matrimonial alliance with the princess was suggested. But the prince's uncle, Frederick William IV, king of Prussia, whose assent was needful and who was mainly influenced by Russophil advisers, was at first disinclined to entertain the proposal, and the outbreak of the Crimean war in 1854 quickened his Russian sympathies.

The Crimean war was responsible, too, for the princess's first trip abroad. In Aug. 1855 she accompanied her parents