Graduate Annual


Historians suggest Queen Victoria was a monarch in name alone. Queen Victoria’s historical significance has typically been limited to her role in accommodating the monarchy to the strict middle-class morality of the age that now bears her name. Queen Victoria is rarely mentioned other than with reference to her love for her husband Albert, her intense mourning for him, and her friendship with John Brown, a Scottish servant. Many historians imply that she had little to no part to play in politics, economics, or even social aspects of the realm. However, this assessment is inaccurate. There is one piece of her empire where the Queen was involved in all three of these details, and that was in regards to her Indian Empire. Queen Victoria actively hired Indian servants and made Indian culture a focal point of her daily routine. It is the purpose of this graduate thesis to examine the numerous ways in which Queen Victoria demonstrated her interest in India to her subjects and the impact of these actions. While much historiography claims that the Queen was solely a figurehead, this graduate thesis will prove she was acting with intent to bring her distant Indian subjects into the center of attention for her British subjects.