Queen Victoria, photographed for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 / AP


13 October 1915

Cynthia Asquith writer and wife to Herbert Asquith, poet and son of the then-leader of the Liberal Party: "We dined at Queen's Restaurant, Sloane Square. Just as we had finished and we were emerging, there was a bustle and we heard the magic word 'Zeppelin'. We rushed out and found people in dramatic groups, gazing skywards. Some men there said they saw the Zeppelin. Alas, I didn't. But our guns were popping away and shells bursting in the air. I felt excited pleasurably, but not the faintest tremor and I longed for more to happen. Bibs was the only member of the family who had sufficient imagination to be frightened and Letty's fun was spoilt by the thought of the children. My only words were 'Something for my diary!'"

15 October 1821

Lord Byron, Romantic poet: "Whenever an American requests to see me – (which is not infrequently) – I comply, firstly because I respect a people who acquired their freedom

by firmness without excess – and secondly because these transatlantic visits few and far between make me feel as if talking with posterity from the other side of the Styx – in a century or two, new English and Spanish Atlantides will be masters of the Old Countries in all probability…"

15 October 1839

Queen Victoria writes in her journal of proposing to Prince Albert: "About half past twelve I sent for Albert. He came to the closet where I was alone, and after a few minutes I said to him that I thought he must of course know why I wanted him to come here, and that it would make me happy if he would consent to what I wished; we embraced each other over and over again, and he was so kind, so affectionate. Oh! To feel I was, and am, loved by such an angel as Albert was too great a delight to describe! He is perfection; perfection in every way – in beauty – in everything!"