The Riviera is one of the world’s most chic resorts, but it took a woman with a reputation for prudishness to put it on the map. Michael Nelson on how Queen Victoria paved the way for royalty and the rich
‘Oh, if only I were at Nice, I should recover,” said Queen Victoria as she was dying. As it is, this is the centenary of her death, and so it seems appropriate to follow in her footsteps across the region in which stayed nine times.
The Riviera wrought a transformation on the last two decades of Queen Victoria’s life. Whenever she arrived on French soil her face lit up, she became exuberant and girlish and she shed many of the inhibitions of her life in England.