My sweet little girl
Won’t so much as shit in peace
Until she is queen
The grown woman you see here is Victoria, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn. The adorable poppet is the future Queen Victoria, blissfully unaware of the infuriating eighteen years she’s in for.
How frustrating? Having to sleep in the same damned room as her mother! Never a moment alone, even while taking a dump! Can’t even vent to a diary without it being scrutinized! My god. She wasn’t even allowed to go down a flight of stairs by herself before she became queen.
Why did the Duchess do this? Mumsy (and the dude who had her wrapped around her finger, James Conroy) wanted Britain to have a perfect frugal, virginal queen that could restore the monarchy’s reputation after George IV, William IV and their bros chucked it in the sewer.
She also wanted to have a docile, compliant queen she could control as her mother, even claiming Victoria was a little… simple, so maybe a regency was in order? This backfired. So much. As soon as she became queen, Victoria promptly made it so her mother had to make appointments to see her, and put her rooms as far away from hers as possible. (They eventually reconciled at Prince Albert’s instigation, but man, the Duchess didn’t deserve it at all.)
King William IV held out until his niece was 18 before he kicked it because he wanted to spare her from any regency bullshit. We know this is so because he told the Duchess this to her face. Good uncle.