Late Language Learner

Queen Victoria learned Hindustani

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) took her responsibilities as Empress of India quite seriously. On her 70th birthday, she undertook lessons in Hindustani and got to the point where she wrote in Hindustani in her diaries.

Queen Victoria diary Hindi Urdu Hinu

Queen Victoria’s diary, dated January 11, but it was actually from January 14, 1892, written in Urdu/Hindi and English: “Today I and my family were almost in greater sorrow and grief than they had ever been before as my young grandson Prince Albert Victor of Wales died this morning at nine o’clock.”

A Royal Round of Queenly Quizzes

For the past week and a half, the world’s attention has been on the events leading up to the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. In her honor, we present this queenly quiz. Each of these questions about queens was inspired by a Commonplace Fun Facts article. Links to the articles for each correct answer…

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That Time the United States Had an Emperor

Suppose fortune fails to smile upon you. Despite your best efforts at gaining wealth, you are bankrupt and have no professional skills to speak of. You could give up and embrace a life of destitution. You could try to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make a fresh start in life. Or you might…

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Warnings for Those Who Fail to Read the Fine Print

Are you one of those people who reads every word of the documents you sign? The vast majority of the population cannot be bothered to peruse the HIPAA disclosures at the doctor’s office, the fine print on the credit card application, or even all of the terms of an apartment lease. Even rarer are those…

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