I Am Very Sorry, But I Mean To Be Just As Naughty Next Time

Princess Victoria, the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was a willful and stubborn child who often got in trouble for doing what she shouldn’t. Her parents punished her, but to little effect. Hannah Pakula, in her biography of the Princess Royal, An Uncommon Woman, shows us for what and how Vicky was punished:

Vicky also told what Lady Lyttelton termed “slight falsehoods.” On one occasion, the governess noted that “the Princess Royal told an untruth, asserting that I had desired she should walk out after supper in her pink bonnet, which I had not done, nor even mentioned the subject. She was imprisoned with tied hands, & very seriously admonished; and I trust was aware of her faults in the right way.”

Imprisonment was Vicky’s usual punishment, and she was matter-of-fact about the stubbornness that got her into trouble. Lady Lyttelton, who approached her after one particular bout of misbehavior, was told, “I am very sorry, Laddle, but I mean to be just as naughty next time.” When their father engaged a new physician, the children were admonished not to call him Brown, as their father did, but Dr. Brown. All complied except Vicky, who was told she would be sent to bed if she repeated the impertinence. The next day she greeted the doctor loudly, “Good morning, Brown,” and then, catching her mother’s eye, got up, curtsied, and continued, “Good night, Brown, for I am going to bed.”

Further reading:
An Uncommon Woman: The Empress Frederick: Daughter of Queen Victoria, Wife of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Mother of Kaiser Wilhelm by Hannah Pakula

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