WHEN QUEEN VICTORIA CAME TO TEA by Margaret Crompton & John Crompton


Autumn 1857. Mr and Mrs Tennyson are at ‘Farringford,’ their Isle of Wight home, with their two young sons, Hallam and Lionel. A few miles away, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are in residence at Osborne House.   The play imagines a private conversation between the Prince and the Poet Laureate, while the Queen drops in for tea with the poet’s wife. Could this really have taken place? What is the significance of the cowslips? And why should chloroform be knighted?



ALFRED TENNYSON        (1809–1892) The Poet Laureate is living in ‘Farringford,’ his retreat on the Isle of Wight. His many admirers include Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. He will not be created Baron Tennyson until 1888. Slight Lincolnshire accent

EMILY TENNYSON           (1813–1896) Emily née Sellwood has two sisters. The youngest, Louisa is married to Charles Turner, Alfred Tennyson’s brother and fellow poet. Emily and Alfred have two sons:Hallam (b 1852) and Lionel (b 1854)

PRINCE ALBERT              (1819-1861) Prince Consort is his wife’s cousin. Since marriage (1840), he has worked to  exhaustion, both conjugally and for the nation. In 1857, he is deeply tired and has not long to live. He has developed Osborne House (Isle of Wight) into a substantial private country retreat for his family. Slight German accent.

QUEEN VICTORIA           (1819–1901) Victoria and Albert’s nine offspring include Bertie (future King Edward VII), Vicky (future wife of German Kaiser), and babies Leopold and Beatrice

NARRATOR (optional)      May read stage directions if appropriate



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