Queen Victoria ‘actually had problems with body odour’, new book reveals

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Picture Rex

In the TV series, Jenna Coleman portrays Queen Victoria as a flirty and sensual young Royal – but the reality may have been a little less palatable.

Specifically, Queen Victoria probably smelled – so much so that courtiers had to drop heavy hints that she might want to change her clothes and take a bath once in a while.

Historian Kathryn Hughes’s new book Victorians Undone also suggests that those around the Queen struggled to contain her vast appetite for food and booze.

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Hughes says that Prime Minister Lord Melbourne offered tips on eating and exercise – which were totally ignored by the feisty Queen.

A pair of Queen Victoria’s underpants (unworn) were recently auctioned by Christie’s

Hughes wrote, ‘Melbourne also dropped hints about her personal hygiene, which had fallen off sharply.

‘She really should try to change her clothes more often, something about which she admitted she had become “lazy”. And a bath taken in the early evening, before dinner, hinted the premier, might not go amiss.’