1. ITV Report

Queen Victoria diary reveals trip to 'desolate' Midlands

"This book, Mamma gave me, that I might write the journal of my journey to Wales in it."

With these words, the 13-year-old Princess Victoria of Kent began her first journal entry in 1983 - a habit she continued throughout her adult life when she became Queen Victoria.

The year her journal began the young Princess also visited the Midlands for the first time, describing the region as "desolate" and "black".

And for the first time all of her journals - all 43,765 pages of them - have been published online and some will go on display at Windsor Castle from tomorrow.

Among the other items of display are the title deed to Buckingham Palace, a 100th birthday card from the Queen to the Queen Mother and a letter from Prince Albert to Queen Victoria, written during their engagement.

An entry from Queen Victoria's diaries. Credit: Royal Archives

In Queen Victoria's early diaries she writes, aged 13, of her visit to Birmingham and Wolverhampton: "The men, woemen [sic], children, country and houses are all black. But I can not by any description give an idea of its strange and extraordinary appearance.

"The country is very desolate every where; there are coals about, and the grass is quite blasted and black. I just now see an extraordinary building flaming with fire. The country continues black, engines flaming, coals, in abundance, every where, smoking and burning coal heaps, intermingled with wretched huts and carts and little ragged children."

It is thought the teenage Princess may have inadvertently been the first to give the region its name the 'Black Country' in the diary entry - predating any other reference by 14 years.

Visitors to the collection will see a title deed dated April 20, 1763 and bearing George III's wax seal records the purchase of "Buckingham House" from Sir Charles Sheffield for the sum of £28,000 - £2 million in today's money.

King George III chose Buckingham House for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a family retreat close to St James's Palace, where many court functions were held. It became known as the "Queen's House" and 14 of the King's 15 children were born there.

The 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle provides a wonderful opportunity to explore and exhibit some of the greatest treasures in the collection of documents," she said.

The wide variety of material held in the Royal Archives - from private correspondence and diaries to official papers - provides a fascinating insight into the history of the British Monarchy, often from a very personal perspective.

– Curator Lauren Porter, of Royal Collection Trust,

The exhibition Treasures from the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle runs from tomorrow until January 25 2015.