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Junior Warden Challenge 4: Queen Victoria

Holly and Rudy©

Welcome back! In this Challenge we’re going to find out about Queen Victoria's time at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Let’s start with some facts about her life:

Queen Victoria was born just over two hundred years ago, in 1819.

She became Queen when she was 18 and reigned for almost 64 years. 

Until 2015 she was the longest serving queen in history (HM Queen Elizabeth II has now reigned for longer).

She reigned during a time of great change. Here are just some of the inventions in the Victorian age – the telephone, radio, flushing toilet, car, bicycle, camera and… ice cream!

Queen Victoria©


Victoria loved Scotland. She described it as ‘the most beautiful country which I am proud to call my own’.

She visited the Palace of Holyroodhouse regularly, often on the way to her other Scottish home, Balmoral Castle in the Highlands.

We know she enjoyed learning about the history of the Palace, because she wrote about her visits in her diary.

In one entry she described being shown round the rooms that Mary, Queen of Scots used 300 years before.

She even had a fountain built that looked just like one from Mary’s time.

Queen Victoria also loved to paint and draw during her stays in Scotland.

She didn’t like everything about Holyrood, however.

She wrote in her diary that the Great Gallery contained ‘a collection of most frightful portraits of the Kings of Scotland’, and described some of the other rooms as ‘dreadfully gloomy’!


Although Victoria’s uncle, George IV, had visited the Palace, no royal had used it regularly for more than 200 years.

Queen Victoria decided to turn it back into a magnificent royal home.

She arranged for beautiful tapestries to be sent from Buckingham Palace and hung up on the walls.

The plain ceilings were painted to add a burst of colour to the rooms. 

Victoria also created the Royal Dining Room at Holyroodhouse.

Her dining table and chairs are still used by the Royal Family when they stay at the Palace today.

She enjoyed lavish banquets with up to six or even seven courses.

Her guests might have suffered from indigestion though – Queen Victoria was known to be a very fast eater, and could finish a banquet in just 30 minutes!

Play this game to have a go at laying the table for a royal meal.


Laying the table interactive (this game requires the lastest browser).
Prince Albert's Dressing Room©


Queen Victoria arranged for bathrooms to be fitted at the Palace for the first time, including plumbed-in baths and flushing toilets.

Prince Albert was especially interested in new technology – he even had a shower installed in his dressing room! Can you spot it in this picture?

Sadly Prince Albert died when Victoria was 42. As a sign of her grief, the queen dressed in black for the rest of her life. For a while after Albert’s death, she stopped visiting the Palace.

Eventually she began to stay again and continued to enjoy trips to Scotland for the rest of her life.


Challenge 1: Guess the mystery object

Mystery object©

Each challenge we show you a mystery object linked to the person we’ve been learning about. Can you solve the riddle and work out what it is?

Queen Victoria loved to write

But she couldn’t without me

Fill me up, but don’t tip me over

I’d make a mess, you see!

What am I?


Find out if you were right in the next challenge!

Challenge 2: Complete one of the activities below

Create a landscape from your window

Write a diary entry



Did you guess the last challenge's mystery object? 


I am something worn around the waist

And made from leather.

I was decorated with jewels for King George IV

And used to keep his kilt together.



In the next challenge we’re going to find out about the king who looked just like Captain Hook.

Join us then for another story and more challenges!

If this is the last challenge that you have wanted to complete ask your teacher, parent or carer to email us at [email protected] and we will send you your Junior Warden Challenge certificate!

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.