We tend to think of royal upbringings as fairly entitled, but for the future Queen Victoria, her childhood was more like a hostage situation. After her father’s death when she was just an infant, her mother and (maybe) her mother’s lover went to great lengths to control every aspect of her life. Young Victoria was simply never allowed to be alone, including sleeping in her mother’s bedroom until the day she became Queen, and was not permitted to walk down stairs without holding the hand of either her mother or her governess. This so-called Kensington System, invented by her mother and Sir John Conroy, also kept her isolated from other children and her Hanoverian relatives, with the intent of making Victoria dependent on them for the rest of her life. In that, it was a colossal failure. As Queen, Victoria barely maintained a relationship with her mother, and Sir John Conroy was specifically banned from her apartments in one of her first acts as monarch.
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