The very last of the Queen's birthday tables at Osbourne. James Roberts - 1861

The Queen's birthday table in 1854 by James Roberts

The Queen's birthday table in the Horn Room at Osbourne - 1849 by J. Nash

Queen Victoria was a very privileged woman, to put it mildly. These were in the days before excess was looked down upon or royalty felt pressure to appear fiscally responsible (not that the royals have taken to living in bungalows now or anything....) Not only was she Sovereign of the British Empire at the height of it's wealth and power, but she had a very doting husband and happy family as well. Prince Albert, her Consort, used to put a great deal of thought into creating a room with a "birthday table" for her each year. Here are some renderings by two different artists of her birthday tables for the years 1849, 1854 and 1861. Being an artist, I am amazed by the amount of detail captured so beautifully in these watercolors. How would you like a "birthday table" and what would you hope to find there? Part 2
(from "Victoria and Albert - A Family Life at Osbourne House")