Victoria, Queen (1819–1901)
Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland (1837–1901), Empress
of India (1876–1901), who presided over the great days
of the British Empire. She was known to be sympathetic to Spiritualism,
and to have held séances with Prince Albert and other
individuals. She approved of the book Our Life After Death by
medium Robert James Lees and was said to have used Lees as
a personal medium. Her belief in the possibility of communication
between the spirit world and the living is illustrated by an
entry in her journal commenting on the story that Princess Feodora,
when at the point of death, had talked about a beloved
child who had died earlier ‘‘Surely at the approach of death
the veil is raised and such pure spirits are allowed to see a
glimpse of those dear ones waiting for them.’’
A short time before the death of Prince Albert, he had told
the Queen ‘‘We don’t know in what state we shall meet again,
but that we shall recognize each other and be together in eternity
I am perfectly certain.’’ After Albert’s death, Victoria relied
heavily on the companionship of her personal servant, the
rough Highlander John Brown. Rumors suggested both that
he was her lover and that together they participated in Spiritualist
séances. After his death in 1883, the Queen erected a statue
to him at Balmoral.
The Queen’s Prime Minister W. E. Gladstone was also sympathetic
to psychical research and was an early member of the
Society for Psychical Research, London. He once summoned
the famous palmist ‘‘Cheiro’’ to explain his theories and also
sat with the medium William Eglinton.
Underwood, Peter. Queen Victoria’s Other World. London
Harrap, 1986.