The way Victoria and Albert's children were dressed had an enormous impact on
children's fashions for generations. I'm not sure who decided on these fashions. Perhaps it was Victoria. But the use of the kilt made good political sence for the monarch, just the astute step that Albert was likely to have suggested to Victoria. HBC has no details yet, however, on just how the children's clothes were selected and the role of Queen Victoriam Prince Albert, or others. We also do not know to what extent the children's clothes were made in the nursery by staff of the royal household or ordered from outside seamstresses and garment shops. HBRC was somewhat surprises that at least some of the children's clothese were made in the nursery, but it is known that Prince Albert obtained a sewing machine for the nursery.
The way Victoria and Albert's children were dressed had an enormous impact on children's fashions for generations. The single most important innovation was thesailor suit which became a boy's staple for a century and stills influces girls clothing. The Royal Family als popularized the kilt. This was the Highland kilt, but we also see kilt suits which were enormously popular in America.
The children, both boys and girls, wore dresses. The younger boys
also wore tunics. The young princes are most noted for beginning the
tradition of wearing sailor suits and kilts, although they did not wear them as much as future generations. The fact that photography was only developed and still primitive in the early 1840s means that the photo graphic record of the royal family is very limited in the 1840s, but becomes much more extensive in the 1850s. Still there are relatively few images of the younger children.
A popular diversion in the 19th century was dressing up in fancy costumes. Both children and adults enjoyed doing it. This could be very expensive if it was dione realistically, but of course ths was not a problem for the Royal Family. We see all ortsof cstumes including historical periods and foreign peoples were favorites. There were of couse cistme balls, but we alsi see this just to have portraits taken. This may have been popular before photography. But photography increased the poplarity of this ctivity because you could have a permanent record of how you looked. Young children enjoy dressing up in costumes and the royal children were no exception. W see them dressing up in costumes as well as presenting plays and tableaux vivants for both the family and visiors. They might be presented on special occasions. There are portraits of all the royal children dressed up in costumes and
participating in these occassions.
I'm not sure who decided on and designed the fashions for the children. Perhaps it was Victoria. But the use of the kilt made good political sence for the monarch, just the astute step that Albert was likely to have suggested to Victoria. HBC has no details yet, however, on just how the children's clothes were selected and the role of Queen Victoriam Prince Albert, or others.
We also do not know to what extent the children's clothes were made in the nursery by staff of the royal household. HBRC was somewhat surprises that at least some of the children's clothese were made in the nursery. We know, for example, that a Miss Skerret and Mrs. Moon who were involved in making clothes for the nursery. Mrs. Moon appears to be a seamstress in the royal household. I'm not sure she just did the clothes for the children. One account indicates that Miss Skeret was bit on the hand by one of the rotal regufees, I think a child of deposed French King Louis Philippe, who fled France in 1848 and were taken in by Victoria and Albert. She was assisting Mrs. Moon with nursery clothing at the time. I'm not sure who Miss Skerret was. In fact, Albert obtained a treadle sewing machine to help Mrs. Moon for the nursery. [Bennett, p. 173.]
We do not know to what extent clothes were ordered from outside seamstresses and garment shops.
The boys have rather long hair, well over their ears. This was not juvenile style. Men also wore their hair in the same style. Note that the boys have side parts, but the girls center parts.
Bennett, Daphne. King Without a Crown: Albert Prince Consort of England, 1819-1861 (New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1977).
Woodham-Smith, Cecil. Queen Victoria: Her Life and Times (1972).
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