Epsom College has been honoured to receive unbroken royal patronage from a reigning monarch since 1855 when Queen Victoria became the College’s first Patron and upon its opening by HRH Prince Albert.
Whilst the College’s royal patronage is unbroken, with the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II and after Saturday’s Coronation it is hoped King Charles III will become Patron of Epsom College sometime in the future.
Queen Victoria never actually visited Epsom College. However, she did attend the Epsom Derby in 1840, having first attended it with her mother, as a twelve year old child in 1831.
Queen Victoria watched “Little Wonder”, a 50-1 outsider win the 1840 Epsom Derby and Her Majesty went on to present the jockey, the youngest and smallest in the race, with a gold whip for his victory.
Queen Victoria had been expected to return to Epsom to attend further Derbys, but sadly after 1840 she never visited Epsom again. Perhaps because of the difficulties she had experienced getting to the race track due to crowds blocking her route. This led to the construction of Tattenham Corner Train Station, that was completed after her death in 1901 and was used by succeeding British monarchs.
The entrance ticket to The Eton College Torchlight Procession at Windsor Castle, which took place in Queen Victoria’s presence during her Diamond Jubilee, was found inside a book purchased from Jo’s Household Clearances in Ewell.
An interesting book about Oxford that was given to Queen Victoria’s third daughter Helena, after she became Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, came from the same establishment a few years ago.
The book about Oxford, which bares the inscription date of1886, was given to the Princess as a Christmas present . The timing of the gift would have coincided with her eldest son, Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein, commencing his Oxford University education at Magdalen College.
If anyone knows whose initials are at the bottom of the inscription, or whether Queen Victoria’s third daughter Helena had any links with Epsom that caused her book to be discovered in Ewell, please let me know by contacting The Epsom and Ewell Times.