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Royal Progress

Victoria wasn’t born to be queen. In 1819, she was quite low down in the royal pecking order, and her father the Duke of Kent was deeply in debt. It was only as her more senior but sickly baby cousins predeceased her, one by one, that it became apparent that she would one day wear the crown. Her relatively unimportant – and impecunious – parents didn’t have a grand country house of the kind owned by rich aristocrats or grander royals. Instead, they lived in a ramshackle apartment within Kensington Palace, and for holidays, they followed the new middle-class Georgian fashion of leaving London for rented holiday houses by the British seaside.

Ramsgate in Kent was a resort to which the young princess was often taken by her mother the Duchess of Kent. She played with other children on the celebrated Ramsgate Sands, wearing a plain straw bonnet, and begging for donkey rides. Kent Place,

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