It’s a strange question but…was Queen Victoria a drug addict? Well, the answer is she may not have been amused – but she might have been flying high as a kite.
QUEEN VICTORIA DRUG ADDICT: Opium
The contents of Queen Victoria’s medicine cabinet are eyebrow raising to put it mildly. There was obviously opium, sold as a painkiller. But then we also find that Victorian favourite, Laudanum. This was a tonic consisting of opium dissolved in alcohol. One swig and one was ready to perform one’s public duties!
QUEEN VICTORIA DRUG ADDICT: Cocaine
To pep herself up, Her Majesty had chewing gum infused with cocaine. She was very fond of this treat. So much so that she even shared some Charlie laced chewies with a young Winston Churchill when he came to stay at Balmoral, her Scottish estate.
Marijuana for menstrual cramps
Menstrual cramps were eased with marijuana. How very forward looking! It would be amusing to imagine Queen Victoria approving of those American states that have recently legalised dope for medicinal purposes. And as for labour pains during her many pregnancies, Victoria reached for the chloroform, which she said was “delightful beyond measure”.
DISCOVER: Dog dung used to make books look good
There is one claim, not proven at all, that she wrote an anonymous review in a newspaper for a popular drink called Vin Mariani. This concoction was a mix of alcohol and cocaine.
So – was Queen Victoria a drug addict? Well, we have to consider that the line between legal and illegal was more blurred in the 19th century. The stigma attached to cocaine today – and the criminal penalties – was largely absent. And morphine was viewed as a beneficial sedative – though clearly not taken to excess.