Queen Victoria was an enthusiastic theatregoer from childhood and was aware of the need to publicly patronise the arts. In 1848, following criticism of her taste for French opera, she strategically sought out patriotic Shakespeare performances.
Drummond shows her crowded by her aristocratic entourage and overshadowed by her mother, the Duchess of Kent. Victoria's theatrical experiences were always discussed with those around her. The Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne was a key early influence. After her marriage in 1840, Victoria's theatrical tastes were increasingly shared with (and shaped by) her husband, Prince Albert.