The advertisement above from the 27 June 1850 issue of the London Standard details that evening’s events at the Covent Garden Theatre. The opera was a triumph. But it was eclipsed by a greater one, for it was on this night that Queen Victoria, injured for the first and only time by one of her assailants, presented her battle-wounds to an appreciative audience. Robert Pate had done the Queen a true injury with his walking-stick, and Victoria’s ladies in waiting knew it, begging her not to go to the opera that night. “If I do not go,” she told them, “it will be thought that I am seriously hurt, and people will be distressed and alarmed.” “But you are hurt, ma’am,” they told her. “Then everyone shall see how little I mind it.”
And she went. And for the fifth time, the public noted, and cheered, her courage under attack.