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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Regina

Queen Victoria’s Journal - April Fools, 1st April 1858

On April Fool’s Day 1851, Victoria and Albert played a trick on her maid of honour, Miss Murray, who had a cat that she was devoted to and would carry with her wherever she went. They procured a three day old kitten and smuggled it into the cat’s basket, horrifying Miss Murray, who was terrified that her precious cat had given birth and that more kittens were imminent.

Queen Victoria and family 1851, Source: Public Domain

"Rather a fine day. — We were very successful with "April fools". The most amusing one of all was, a trick we played upon poor Miss Murray, who has a cat to which she is excessively devoted, & which she carries about everywhere with her, being always very well behaved, & never killing any mice or birds. We got quite a young kitten, only 3 days old, which we had same difficulty in procuring, & when Miss Murray was out of her room, placed the kitten in the cat's basket. When she returned after a little while & discovered what was in the basket, she was quite horrified, thinking her cat had had an unexpectedly family, & that more kittens might be coming! At last she found out that it was the 1rst of April. — Hélène Orléans came to lunch with us & arrived rather early, so that she sat a little while with us. — Took a short drive & a walk afterwards. — We dined alone & went to the Opera where we saw "Gustave", in Italian, very badly given, which, pretty as Auber's music generally is, made it drag very much. Mlle Duprez, who took the part of the Page, was the only good performer, though she has a weak voice, but she sings extremely well & is pretty."

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2012

© Bodleian Libraries © ProQuest

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