Young Queen Victoria describes seeing industrial British life

During a tour with her mother the Duchess of Kent, the 13-year-old and future Queen Victoria wrote at length in her diaries of the people she encountered on her way across Britain.

She described coal miners and workers in the first pages of her new diary: "The men women, children, country and houses are all black. But I can not by any description give an idea of its strange and extraordinary appearance".

Undated handout photo issued by the Royal Archives of the diaries. Credit: Royal Archives

"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."

But she was charmed by the people she met along the way, writing, "We have just changed horses at Wolverhampton a large and dirty town but we were received with great friendliness and pleasure".

Queen Victoria's early diaries are to go on show in an exhibition at Windsor Castle from next Saturday, May 17th.