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Queen Victoria`s hand-written diaries published online

London: More than 40,000 pages from a private diary kept by Queen Victoria from the age of 13 until just before her death were made available online today.

The website was launched at Buckingham palace throne room today by Queen Elizabeth II to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

When asked if she herself kept a diary, the 86-year-old Queen replied: "Mine`s not being published."

The only other sovereign apart from Elizabeth II to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, Victoria reigned for 63 years and seven months.

And Victoria wrote of the scenes that greeted her during a parade to mark her Diamond Jubilee: "Passed through dense crowds, who gave me a most enthusiastic reception.

"It was like a triumphal entry. We passed down Cambridge Terrace, under a lovely arch bearing the motto, `Our hearts thy Throne`."

Queen Victoria started her journals as a teenager after being told to document a trip to Wales by her mother ? the very first entry describes a journey through Snowdonia.

She extensively documented the details of both public and private life, underlining words or phrases two or three times, and liberally using exclamation marks.

Other key events in the diaries include Victoria`s coronation.

After launching the website, the Queen said, "In this the year of my Diamond Jubilee, I am delighted to be able to present, for the first time, the complete online collection of Queen Victoria`s journals from the Royal Archives."

The Royal Archives, Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University and online publisher ProQuest scanned the pages - some in Victoria`s own hand and some edited and then transcribed by her daughter Beatrice after her death.

It was "an amazing honour" to work on the journals, which include sketches and paintings drawn by Victoria herself to illustrate the books, said Bodleian librarian Sarah Thomas.

"These diaries cover the period from Queen Victoria’s childhood days to her accession to the throne, marriage to Prince Albert, and later, her Golden and Diamond Jubilees.

"We have been motivated by the intrinsic value of these collections and the idea of sharing them." Thomas added.

PTI

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