|Victoria greeted as queen, painting by H.T. Wells, R.A.
The princess had
just celebrated her eighteenth birthday when the king died, in June
1837. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chancellor started
at once to carry the news to the young sovereign. They reached
Kensington Palace in the early dawn and knocked for some time before
they roused the sleepy porter.
When the door was opened they
announced that they must see Victoria. The answer was, "The
princess is in such sweet slumber that we do not venture to disturb
Then the archbishop said, "We are come to see the queen on
business of state."
Victoria did not wait to dress, but entered
the room in a loose robe, her hair hanging down her back. Her eyes
were bright with tears as she listened to the announcement that she was