As the youngest of Queen Victoria’s children, Beatrice’s lot in life was to remain close to her mother. Even after Victoria’s death on January 22, 1901, Beatrice spent much of the remainder of her years devoted.
Appointed literary executor of her mother’s estate, Beatrice’s daunting task was to edit Victoria’s considerable volumes of diaries. The upside was that the diaries had been meticulously maintained.
In an era when letter-writing was begrudgingly prized, and journalizing was practically required, Queen Victoria had written more than most. Compelled to tear out incriminating or hurtful pages, Beatrice burned what was best buried with her mother, in her estimation. She dutifully copied by hand what remained into 111 volumes of notebooks provided by the court stationers, Parkins & Grotto.
What was omitted from the final versions of Queen Victoria’s diaries is irreplaceable. On the other hand, the edited versions may have warranted some semblance of privacy in the very public world of Queen Victoria.