The Queen diaries: Her Majesty wears traditional floral dress to launch website of great-great-grandmother Victoria's journalsOnline resource made up of 40,000 pages written by the monarch
Queen Victoria was first monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee
15:48 GMT, 24 May 2012
The Queen today wore a traditional floral dress to launch a very modern resource – a website made up of the journals of her great-great-grandmother Victoria.
Dressed in a high-necked turquoise and purple frock and pearls, the monarch used a remote control to reveal the site on a screen in Buckingham Palace’s throne room.
More than 40,000 pages of the diaries kept by Queen Victoria from the age of 13 until just before her death have been published.
Royal writings: The Queen launches an online collection of the private journals of Victoria today, accompanied by curator of the Royal Collection, Lady Jane Roberts, at Buckingham Palace
You're not seeing my diary! The monarch meets Bodleian Librarian Sarah Thomas during a reception to launch the Queen Victoria Journals Online
But the Queen provoked laughter when she commented, 'Mine's not being published.'
The Royal Archives, Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University and online publisher ProQuest scanned the pages – some in Victoria’s own hand and some edited and transcribed by her daughter Beatrice after her death – for the six-month project marking the Diamond Jubilee.
Queen Victoria wrote of the scenes that greeted her during a parade to mark her own 60-year reign: 'Passed through dense crowds, who gave me a most enthusiastic reception. It was like a triumphal entry. We passed down Cambridge Terrace, under a lovely arch bearing the motto, ‘Our hearts thy Throne’.
'The streets were beautifully decorated, also the balconies of the houses with flowers, flags, and draperies of every hue… The streets, the windows, the roofs of the houses, were one mass of beaming faces, and the cheers never ceased.'
New age: The Queen wore a floral dress and black courts to the event digitalising the diaries of Queen Victoria
The Queen paid tribute to her forebear on the website, writing: 'In this the year of my Diamond Jubilee, I am delighted to be able to present, for the first time, the complete online collection of Queen Victoria’s journals from the Royal Archives.
'These diaries cover the period from Queen Victoria’s childhood days to her accession to the throne, marriage to Prince Albert, and later, her Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
'It seems fitting that the subject of the first major public release of material from the Royal Archives is Queen Victoria, who was the first Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee.'
Interestingly, Victoria wrote on her Diamond Jubilee about sending a message electronically.
'I touched an electric button, by which I started a message which was telegraphed throughout the whole Empire,' she wrote.
'It was the following: “From my heart I thank my beloved people, may God bless them.”'
The Twitter account @QueenVictoriaRI will be active during the Jubilee period. The online release of the diaries, which have been transcribed up to the year 1840, mark the start of a year-long programme to digitise work from the Royal Archive.
The Queen was forced to rebuff Bodleian librarian Sarah Thomas when asked if she herself wrote a diary.
Dr Thomas said it had been 'an amazing honour' to work on the journals, which include sketches and paintings drawn by Victoria to illustrate the books.
She said: 'We have been motivated by the intrinsic value of these collections and the idea of sharing them.
'It amplifies the excitement we have in having Her Majesty herself come here, because it shows she has a real interest. She was obviously engaged.
'This is a part of history. It is such an exciting moment, when you can unlock history and make it publicly available.
'The eyes of the world are focused on the Queen and the Diamond Jubilee – and this is the other Diamond Jubilee.'