Queen Victoria Hates Babies

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I found this story on @HistoryWeird's blog here. The original source was Letters of Queen Victoria, April 21st 1858, May 4th 1859.

"Queen Victoria’s affection for Prince Albert is well documented. Though Victoria never spoke or wrote explicitly of such things, the two enjoyed a healthy sex life. As a consequence, Victoria was pregnant for more than a third of her married life and gave birth nine times in a little over 16 years. Despite this, Victoria demonstrated a loathing for almost every aspect of motherhood. In an 1858 letter to eldest daughter Vicky, the queen expressed great relief that Vicky was not pregnant:

"'I can not tell you how happy I am that you are not in an unenviable position. I never can rejoice by hearing that a poor young thing is pulled down by this trial. [Children are] an awful plague and anxiety for which they show one so little gratitude very often. What made me so miserable was to have the first two years of my married life utterly spoiled by this occupation.'

queenvictoriababy
Queen Victoria – just feel the motherly love

"Vicky fell pregnant within weeks of her mother’s letter (the outcome of this pregnancy was the future Kaiser Wilhelm II). The following year Victoria expressed her disgust at society ladies who seemed to be ‘always pregnant’:

"'I positively think those ladies who are always enceinte [pregnant] are quite disgusting… more like a rabbit or guinea pig than anything else and really it is not very nice. There is Lady Kildare who has two a year, one in January and one in December, and is always so, whenever one sees her. There is no end to the jokes about her.'

"It seems the queen did not even like babies:

"'I have no tendre [tenderness] for them till they have become a little human. An ugly baby is a very nasty object, and the prettiest is frightful when undressed… I have no adoration for very little babies [and] am no admirer of babies generally.'

"One maternal duty that Victoria found especially repugnant was breastfeeding. She compared nursing mothers to “cows” and handed her own children to wet nurses – who were paid up to £1,000 for sustaining the royal offspring. When Victoria’s second daughter Alice ignored her mother’s advice and decided to breastfeed her own children, Victoria cattily responded by having a cow on her estate named ‘Alice’".

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