A children’s book penned by Britain’s Queen Victoria when she was just 10 years old has finally been published almost two centuries after it was written.
“The Adventures of Alice Laselles” tells the story of a 12-year-old girl sent away to boarding school.
It features characters including a “poor little French orphan” called Ernestine Duval and Barbara, the clever daughter of a rich London banker.
The work is undated but the Royal Collection, which is now publishing the story, believes it was written around 1829 or 1830 when she was still a young princess.
“It reflects a lot of Victoria's feelings as a little girl,” said children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, who wrote the introduction to the book. “It humanizes a queen. Here she was, just a sweet, charming child.”
She added: “The young queen Victoria really had a way with words. It's a fascinating story.”
The story was written in a notebook and kept in the royal archives at Windsor Castle, near London. It bore the inscription: "To my dear Mamma, this my first attempt at composition is affectionately and dutifully inscribed by her affectionate daughter, Victoria.”
Victoria’s reign lasted 63 years and seven months — longer than any other British monarch, and the longest of any female monarch in history.