Sunday, September 13th, 2009
A pair of Queen Victoria’s linen bloomers and a matching chemise were found in a private collection this week.
Dating to around 1890, the monogrammed unmentionables have been hidden away in the collection for over a hundred years, probably given to a good and faithful servant as mementos of the Queen after her death.
Alexandra Kim, curator of the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, said: “The drawers have quite a large waist – about 56 inches.
“By this stage in her life, Queen Victoria had gained quite a few inches.
“When she was about 18, her waist was about 20 inches… Over the years, particularly having given birth to nine children, that changed entirely.”
As well as featuring Queen Victoria’s monogram, the underwear has a laundry mark – a number which allowed it to be traced after it was sent to be washed.
The pants are what is felicitously known as “split drawers”, so now that it’s on display in the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, you too can see where Queen Victoria went pee pee.
The collection includes another 12,000 other pieces of clothing from royalty and courtiers over the past 400 years or so, see the slideshow from the article for some pictures.
My favorite is William III’s Christmas elf outfit. Seriously, can you even believe this is adult clothing?
They have a design of a little flower, surmounted by a crown worked in at the ankle, and a ‘W’ in the cuff at the top. He is generally known as a serious monarch and soldier and it is fascinating to see that, informally, the King must have looked very dapper in his coloured stockings.
Like the dapperest of Christmas elves.