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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds My name is Baroness Louise Lehzen. I am from Hanover, and I used to look after the half sister of the Princess Victoria, Feodora back in Germany. So it is a great pleasure to have been able to serve the little Princess Victoria as her governess. I knew her from a very young age. She was little more than a baby when I first met her. And as such, I became a very warm, fond devoted companion to her. Oh, she loved food, I have to say. As far as food was concerned, she lived to eat. I have to say there was a courtier. I forget his name now, but he said that she ate her food as heartily as she laughed.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds And if you may speak plain, she gobbled. Yah, yah I know. This is not a ladylike word for a princess who’s going to be a queen. But yes she would gobble her food. She loved to eat. She was passionate about food. So I know her uncle Leopold. When she was growing up, he would send her the letters saying, you are eating too much food. And I know that when she became queen, when she was very young as queen, she would then be able to enjoy so many lavish dinners. Well the menu is in French. And we start off with all the soups. We have the rice soups, the vegetable soups, and so on.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds We’d go on to have some fish courses, with the [INAUDIBLE], the soles, whiting. We’d go on to the relevee. Oh, entrees, we’d have various kinds of chicken dishes. We have braised capon. One thing and another. Then we have the second course. And that would be so many different types of roast meats, followed by a lobster salad. I remember we would have things like the sugar baskets, nougat. Then we would go onto the desserts. There was always a side table. I know she was always passionate about the side table with meats upon it also. Even just thinking about it, I can feel I am straining here. It is too much food.

Skip to 2 minutes and 30 seconds I would hope that she would be very happy with Prince Albert for they are very much in love. It is a wondrous thing to see the pair of them together. I think he has calmed her down to some extent with the eating, I have to say. And I hope that this influence will continue because he does not like food. He is very picky about the food. I think he has a most delicate stomach. And I’m afraid he cannot eat the sort of wondrous dishes that his wife the Queen enjoys.

Baroness Lehzen

Louisa Lehzen was Victoria’s governess as she was growing up, and a close confidante of the future queen. In this video she lifts the lid on some of the young Victoria’s less savoury eating habits!

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This video is from the free online course:

A History of Royal Food and Feasting

University of Reading