On the same day there are two stories, one of the intense romantic love of Queen Victoria:
By Victorian standards, it is really rather daring.
Even more so when one realises that the lovely young woman languorously baring her shoulders is none other than Queen Victoria.
The portrait, known as ‘the secret picture’, was commissioned by the young Queen in 1843 as a 24th birthday present for her beloved husband Albert. It was painted by the respected artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
By all accounts it was well received. Victoria, also 24 at the time, referred to it as ‘my darling Albert’s favourite picture’.
He was said to particularly like the way he hair, half released from its traditional knot, cascaded down her back.
The phrase ‘the secret picture’ was taken from Victoria’s journal and referred to the fact that she had commissioned it for her husband’s eyes only. It has only been displayed in public on one occasion since she gave it to him 166 years ago.
And the other of a tawdry and repulsive 21st Century meretrix:
Britney Spears is racy in lace as she films video for controversial new song 3.
The track has already claimed the top spot in the U.S. charts and is taken from her forthcoming album The Singles Collection, released next month.
Cavorting with two men in a skimpy see-through lace outfit, this is Britney Spears filming scenes for her latest controversial song 3.
Victoria had 9 children, was publicly modest and, contrary to the preconceptions of contemporary bigotry, enjoyed sex.
You can keep Britney, give me Victoria.