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Children's story penned by young Queen Victoria reveals more about her 'melancholy' childhood

A children's story penned by a young British royal has been published for the first time, after historians discovered it hidden deep within the royal archives.

The book was found hidden in the royal archives Credit: ITV News

Contained within a red notebook, stored in the royal archives at Windsor, the tale of 12-year-old Alice Lasells was written by the late Queen Victoria.

Experts say the story reveals a great deal about the monarch, famed for her stern disposition and devout diary-keeping, and what her self-confessed "melancholy" childhood was like.

ITV News correspondent Nina Nannar reports:

Written when she was 10 as part of a lesson on composition, the young Princess Victoria's story centres on Alice, who is sent away to Miss Duncombe’s School for Girls - a boarding school - when her father remarries.

The mystery story revolves around the discovery of a cat at the school's cottage - breaking the establishment's strict rules.

Despite Alice being innocent of such a terrible misdemeanor, the cat's collar consists of a red ribbon bearing her name - and it is up to her to prove she was not involved.

Queen Victoria is better known for her stern disposition and devout diary-keeping

The illustrations of her heroine and the girls she meets at the school all come from paper dolls the young princess created with the help of her governess.

Best-selling children's author Jacqueline Wilson wrote the forward to Victoria's book, and said the short story revealed much about what was happening with the princess at that time - who, like her fictional creation, lost a parent at a young age and mixed with few other children as she was growing up.

The illustrations were taken from the young princess's paper doll creations Credit: ITV News

She said:

It reflects a lot of Queen Victoria's feelings when she was a little girl. She herself describes her childhood as 'melancholy'.

It humanises a queen that we tend to think of as the stout lady, with the rather boot face, but here she was - just as sweet and charming as any child nowadays.

– Jacqueline Wilson

Within a few years of writing the story, the princess would be crowned Queen and Empress, and Alice would be consigned to history - until now.

The Adventures of Alice Laselles is now on sale at bookshops and online.