Queen Victoria changed horses in Sutton and Reigate on her way to Buckingham Palace
174 years ago today Queen Victoria sat in Sutton quietly reading Oliver Twist whilst her horses were changed on the way to Buckingham Palace.
Only 19 at the time, and two years into her 63 year reign, on January 8 the Queen had set of from the Royal Pavillion in Brighton at 10 am, according to her recently published journals.
She wrote: "At about 10.15am I left the Pavilion with Ma., and Lady Charlemont in my carriage; Matilda, Mrs. Campbell and Lord Headfort in the next; and Daisy, Miss Rice, and Sir William Lumley in the other; Lord Alfred followed in a Postchaise as far as Hickstead, when the Escort left me; and then he preceded me till we got to Sutton, when the Escort joining us, he followed.
We reached Buckingham Palace at 3.15pm; having; changed horses at Hickstead, Crawley, Reigate, and Sutton,- in all 50 mile. It was a very bright day when we left Brighton, but very cold, and seemed to get colder and colder, and snowed before we gob into London. Read in Oliver Twist (which I finished) and in Guizot in the carriage.
I think Oliver Twist excessively interesting and beautifully and cleverly written; Guizot is amazingly well written and very interesting."
Kath Shawcross, borough archivist and local studies manager said: "She was on her way back from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton as confirmed by Princess Beatrice’s diary too and they changed horses at Sutton - the 4th and final place, I guess the ride up Reigate Hill must have tired out the horses quite a bit."
Visit www.queenvictoriasjournals.org to find out more.