Queen Victoria ‘had an affair with her servant’

Queen Victoria had a relationship with her Scottish servant John Brown, new evidence suggests

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Julia Baird, who is working on a biography of Queen Victoria, says she has found a record of a curious interaction between the pair in the diary of the monarch’s trusted doctor, Sir James Reid.

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In an unpublished extract, held by Reid’s descendants, the doctor recalls how on Thursday 22 March 1883 he opened the door to Victoria’s room to find her flirting with John Brown as she “walked a little.”

Brown says to her, lifting his kilt, “Oh, I thought it was here?” She responds, lifting up her dress, “No, it is here.”

Writing for the New York Times, Baird says it is unclear from the note exactly what “it” might be, but that the diary entry reveals an extraordinary level of intimacy that exceeded not just what was normal for a lady and her servant — let alone a queen — but also for male and female friends.

The nature of the relationship between Brown and Queen Victoria has long been debated between biographers.

To read the New York Times article in full, click here.
 

‘Battle of Hastings sword’ fails to sell at auction

A medieval sword possibly taken as a trophy during the battle of Hastings has failed to sell at auction.

The “extremely rare” broadsword belonged to Humphrey De Bohun, a kinsman of William the Conqueror. Sir Humphrey fought at Hastings in 1066, where Christie’s auctioneers think he could have captured the sword.

It had been hoped the sword would fetch up to £120,000 in the auction house’s Out of the Ordinary sale in South Kensington, BBC News reports.

To read the BBC News article in full, click here.

First World War horse receives ‘animal Victoria Cross’

A heroic First World War horse has been presented posthumously with a bravery award.

Warrior, dubbed “the horse the Germans could not kill”, was awarded the Honorary PDSA Dickin Medal at a special ceremony.

The award is the first honorary PDSA Dickin Medal ever presented in the veterinary charity’s 97-year history, in recognition of the bravery of millions of animals that served during the conflict, the Telegraph reports.

The medal was accepted by author and broadcaster Brough Scott MBE, grandson of Warrior’s owner and rider, General Jack Seely, at a special ceremony at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) London.

To read the Telegraph article in full, click here.
 

Golden Roman hoard uncovered underneath high street

Archaeologists have discovered a hoard of jewellery that was hastily buried as Queen Boadicea and her army advanced on Colchester in AD 61.

The hoard, which was discovered as a tangled ball of metal, includes gold armlets, earrings and rings as well as silver chains and coins. It was found under the Essex town’s high street, the Telegraph reports.

The team believes the jewellery was abandoned by a rich Roman who was trying to escape as Boadicea’s Iceni army marched on the town.

To read the Telegraph article in full, click here.

Second World War Spitfire pilot takes first parachute jump aged 92

A former RAF Spitfire pilot who fought in the Second World War has deployed his parachute for the first time, more than 70 years after he joined the RAF.

Peter Proctor, from Southport, Merseyside, also served in Burma, India and Zimbabwe during the war, but never had to pull his ripcord, the Daily Mail reports.

Mr Proctor, who has two artificial hips and a false knee, plunged more than 13,000 feet to successfully complete his first ever freefall jump at Sibson Airfield, Peterborough.

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To read the Daily Mail article in full, click here.