Queen Victoria's Warts and All Diaries Published
The Queen has launched a website publishing the (largely) unexpuragted diaries of Queen Victoria - but revealed she had no plans to publish her own.
More than 40,000 pages of the journals kept by Victoria from the age of 13 until just before her death have been made available online.
Queen Victoria is the only other British monarch to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee.
The Queen was handed a remote control, which she pointed at a screen to officially launch the website - www.queenvictoriasjournals.org - in Buckingham Palace's throne room.
When asked by Bodleian librarian Sarah Thomas if she herself wrote a diary, the Queen, wearing a summery floral printed dress, replied to laughter from those gathered to mark the launch: "Mine's not being published."
The journals include sketches and paintings drawn by Victoria herself to illustrate the books.
In her diary, 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 diaries are searchable and the Royalist couldn't resist vanity-searching for Sykes.
I was rather surprised by what came up:
"Tuesday, 19th April.- I awoke at 7 and got up at 20 minutes to 8. Read in the Exposition while my hair was doing. At 9 we breakfasted. Wrote my journal. I omitted mentioning the very melancholy event which took place in our house yesterday. Our poor confectioner, Hartmann, who had been ill for a long time while we were at Ramsgate, but had apparently recovered, yesterday morning between 5 and 6 o'clock put an end to his life, by resolutely shooting himself, and was dead almost instantly. It is quite horrid and I am still quite full of it. He had been, poor man, at least 7 or 8 years in our service, and was very clever servant. He has left and old mother and several brothers and sisters to deplore his loss!
"Finished my letter to Feodore and wrote one to dear Uncle Leopold. We saw Captain Sykes. Wrote my journal. Walked."
Not quite what I expected, but a remarkably vivid insight into Regal life, what with one's confectioner resolutely shooting himself and all.