Victoria’s Victory! and Victoria’s Secret!

Two boys were walking down the sidewalk and saw an old woman reading the Bible.   One said to the other, “Oh, that’s my grandma.  She’s cramming for her finals.”  In the late 1800s, Queen Victoria of England attended worship at the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. There, the famous monarch heard a sermon that interested her greatly.  Following the service, she asked her chaplain, “Can one be absolutely sure in this life of their eternal salvation?”  The court minister  replied, “No, there is no way that anyone can be absolutely sure of something like that.”  This incident was recorded in  the Court News (a monthly paper about all things royal).  John Townsend, George Mueller’s right hand man at the orphanage, read the question-answer account and shared with Mr. Mueller his burden to write a small book on eternal security and send it to the Queen.  Mueller agreed it was a good idea, Townsend wrote the book and sent it to Victoria with these words, “To Her Gracious Majesty, our beloved Queen Victoria, from one of your most humble servants.  With trembling hands, but heart-filled love, and because I know you can be absolutely sure now of eternal life in the home that Jesus went to prepare for us, may I ask Your Most Gracious Majesty to read the following.”   Two weeks later, came the palace reply.  “To John Townsend: I have read what you sent me and now believe in the finished work of Christ for me and trust by God’s grace, to meet you one day in that place He has prepared for us in heaven.  Victoria Guelph.”  And after the Queen’s discovery of assurance of salvation, she ordered a number of copies of the small booklet, which she gave out as a royal gift to visitors.

In 1975, Roy Raymond walked into a department store to buy his wife some lingerie, but all the thirty-year old business school graduate could find were ugly floral-print nightgowns and saleswomen who made him feel like some kind of deviant for just being there.  It was then that he had a money-making idea, a lingerie store designed to make men (not me) more comfortable shopping for such things.  He mortgaged everything he had to come up with the $100,000 needed, and forty years later the company, Victoria’s Secret, is now valued at $2 billion.  But why that name?  “It is a marketing ploy contrasting Queen Victoria’s public modesty and private passion; after all, she did bear nine children in seventeen years of matrimony.”  Historians agree.  They say the marriage between first-cousins: Victoria (the young petite beautiful English queen) and Albert (the young handsome athletic German prince) was a match made in heaven (one only has to read their private love letters to see that the five boys and four girls born were more than just expected royal procreation).  There’s even been a major motion picture made about their romance, The Young Victoria.  But perhaps the best proof of this deep affection was what Albert’s untimely death in 1861 did to Victoria.  For the next three years she never left the palace (and after that, only appearing in public wearing black).  Albert’s private rooms were kept intact, becoming as shrines of him to her.  Victoria’s weight mushroomed to a size XXXL.  And at her death in 1901, she was buried in her wedding veil with one of Albert’s dressing gowns and a plaster cast of his hand, both being placed along side her in the coffin, buried next to his.

The bottom line?  All this shows that being a proper Victorian lady on the outside doesn’t mean you have to give up romantic passion on the inside.  But such things are to be Victoria’s (and every other wife’s) secret.