Two Victorias?
Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria and Melbourne, 1867–68
in Crowns and colonies
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In 1867–8 the first British royal tour to Australia drew attention to two Victorias – the Queen and the colony. The visit by Queen Victoria’s second son, Prince Alfred, gave colonists a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how their society was worthy of its namesake. This chapter demonstrates how throughout his five-week visit, public festivities frequently reminded Prince Alfred of the link between the two Victorias. But the tour also drew attention to tensions within local society, between those who emphasised the colony’s civilised, genteel character and those who revelled in its opportunities to pursue drinking, gambling and whoring. Alfred represented many of the most attractive qualities associated with the colony – youth, modernity, expertise – as well as some more dubious ones. This chapter demonstrates that, for all the loyalty expressed to the Queen and the Prince in Victoria, the visit was ultimately most important in advancing the colony’s own reputation.

Crowns and colonies

European monarchies and overseas empires

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