By 1842, Victoria would have been, 23, and trying to appear very grown up. The skirts are widening (as are the hips and bust line after bearing two children), and do so even more in 1847 when she would have already had five children.
Victorian courtship required the knowledge of an elaborate system which included the methods of flirtation with gloves. Fans were used in a similar way. Among other types of symbolic expression, the language of flowers was used to convey messages without words.