The latest issue of Discover Britain is on sale

    Queen Victoria, Lady Jane Grey
    A tale of two queens: Queen Victoria (left) and Lady Jane Grey. Credit (from left): National Trust Images/Shutterstock
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    The latest issue of Discover Britain tells the tale of two queens: one of Britain’s longest-ruling monarchs and the shortest reigning…

    Until HM the Queen pipped her to the post, Queen Victoria, who acceded to the throne almost 180 years ago in 1837, was Britain’s longest-reigning sovereign. Lady Jane Grey, on the other hand, lasted just nine days. Despite the centuries that divided them, the two queens perhaps had more in common than you might suspect – both came to the throne as mere teenagers and, in spite of the machinations of those around them, knew their own mind.

    Royal Albert Hall
    The Royal Albert Hall. Credit: iStock

    During an era known for its reserve, one of the most famous things about Victoria was her unbridled passion for her husband, Albert – a subject explored in the recent ITV drama, Victoria – about which she wrote openly, both before and after his untimely death, in diaries and letters. Her devotion is reflected throughout London, from the Royal Albert Hall to the V&A Museum.

    V&A
    The iconic V&A. Credit: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

    But then the Victorians were full of contradictions: they were restrained, but they were also sentimental; with the inventions of the Industrial Revolution they looked to the future but fashions such as the Gothic Revival looked longingly to the past; they preached piety and clean-living but they invented that temple of pleasure, the gin palace…

    The Viaduct Tavern
    The beautiful Viaduct Tavern is one of London’s finest gin palaces. Credit: The Viaduct

    One should be wary of making generalisations about any period, but it can be fun to do so all the same. And our new series, Six Ages of Britain, rattles through British history in six lively instalments.

    Plus, look out for our county guide to wintry Cambridgeshire, an exploration of Arundel Castle with Dan Jones in time for the return of Secrets of Great British Castles this autumn, a visit to Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, north Wales and a visit to beautiful Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill…  

    Cambridgeshire
    Explore Cambridgeshire’s exquisite architecture. Credit: iStock
     Arundel Castle
    Explore Arundel Castle with Dan Jones. Credit: Arundel Castle
    Gladstone's Library
    Gladstone’s Library. Credit: Craig Colville

    The December 2016/January 2017 issue of Discover Britain is on sale now.

    Do you love Britain? Let others know!

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