I’d eat my feelings, but my chef drowned.
Now, onto the real Prince Alfred, not half as awesome, but creepier.
This is an amazing picture (source). A. Ma. Zing. Don’t believe me? We’ll do some zooms and rabbit-hole this treasure.
First off, the details. 1857: From left to right: Alice, Arthur (later Duke of Connaught), The Prince Consort (Albert), The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), Leopold (later Duke of Albany, in front of the Prince of Wales), Louise, Queen Victoria with Beatrice, Alfred (later Duke of Edinburgh), The Princess Royal (Victoria) and Helena. Next, the gossip: Albert and Victoria were first cousins, and were the introduction of hemophilia into the royal family.
(Not the first first cousins, or first family members down through the years. I’m just sayin’.)
Okay, now the examination. I live for this shit.
This is Princess Louise Pouty Face, Queen Victoria, Prince Alfie of our fabled chaotic visit to Australia (starred for your viewing pleasure), and Princess Beatrice Faceplant.
What is wrong with Louise? Is she truly in distress? Is that nasty look on Alfie’s face due to the fact that he kicked her with his hobnail boot just before the photographer informed everyone that they must hold still? Victoria is obviously aware of her distress, but not too concerned…
And is Beatrice trying to suffocate herself in Victoria’s lap?
It’s like an Edward Gorey drawing, ambigious in its sinister message. It’s just two princesses, a prince, and their mother, the queen, but it looks like the beginning of a horror movie, an image used to set the scene in the title sequence. You can hear the menacing music, admit it.
This is the Prince Consort (Albert), and The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII). In other words, the man who married his cousin in order to be prince, not king, like another man would in the 20th century, and then die too young, and his son, who will sire Edward VIII. Edward VIII will abdicate the throne for a divorced American socialite.
Divorced and American. The horror.
Look at them, it’s like they already know the future, and already feel a little queasy about it.
This is my personal favorite, by far. Princess Alice and Prince Arthur. Arthur is just chilling, waiting for further instruction, perhaps looking at Faceplant Beatrice, wondering what her whipping boy’s punishment would be…
And then there is Alice. Princess Alice.
Look at her face.
She was born in 1843, so she’s 14 here. That look is 14 going on 44, and that side-eye says I will kill you all in your sleep, and I know fifteen ways to do it. Test me one more time, just ONE MORE TIME. I shall do it, and I shall frame Mother’s chambermaid, and I shall retire to a quiet island where no one whinges or makes you pose for “casual” family portraits or tries to suffocate themselves in Mother’s skirts. I see you, Alice Maud Mary, and I know you. I got you, girl. That face says “I don’t like Mondays”.
I know I am absolutely correct. Proof: This portrait of her in 1875, where her face clearly says fuck why didn’t I kill them all? Fuuuuuuuck.
In honor of Prince Alfie’s hot mess of a chase scene of a visit to Australia:
Ah, yes, and the glorious 19th century British plum pudding? Of course I didn’t forget the food.
A luscious quote, almost as tasty as the pudding itself:
For Victorian citizens of the British Empire, the Christmas pudding was a summation of their conception of the world: a globelike mass, studded with savory bits from distant colonies, bound together by a steamed and settled matrix of Englishness. (history.com)
I actually had to take a laughter break. It was loud and raucous, and involved hunting down my Larry in order to hoot these words at him. I’m not mocking the British culture, mind you; I am from the UK, so to speak. (King James is my x times grandfather by one of his mistresses, x representing the level of effort it would require to look up my genealogical paperwork.) So any mocking is strictly affectionate. But damn, y’all, that sentence should be in the dictionary under colonialism.
Savory bits of Australia. NOMNOMNOM. How do you feel about that?
I will post a proper Victorian era recipe on the Food page later, promise; right now I am exhausted from howling at that glorious, glorious quote.
Oh, and my favorite quote from the historical accounts read by Dave?
clattered him ’round the body.
That goes right along with boxing his ears proper, I should say.
Hey, Alfie? This is what I think about your “hunting” skills, you pampered, barbaric bastard. No better than someone playing a game of Duck Hunt in god mode:
Oh, and one more thing: Princess Vicki and Princess Helena apparently graced the family with their presence during a school break from Hogwarts. Vicki is a student teacher, Helena is a student. Exhibit A:
Band names from this episode:
- Barreltree Wine
- Melbourne Lunatic Asylum Throwdown (speedmetal)
- Nighttime Whore Tours
- Cake Orgy
And then, I almost forgot. Just when it couldn’t get any more chaotic, Prince Alfred crossed paths with the Fenians. Perhaps he should have just stayed in that can With his father, safe and snug as the spare to the heir…?