QUEEN VICTORIA

Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901. Known as the Victorian era, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than any previous British monarch. It was a period of industrial, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. In 1876, Parliament voted to grant her the additional title of Empress of India.Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (the fourth son of King George III), and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After the deaths of her father and grandfather in 1820, she was raised under close supervision by her mother and her comptroller, John Conroy. She inherited the throne aged 18 after her father’s three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate issue. Though a constitutional monarch, privately, Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments; publicly, she became a national icon who was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their children married into royal and noble families across the continent, earning Victoria the sobriquet “the grandmother of Europe” and spreading haemophilia in European royalty. After Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, republicanism in the United Kingdom temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration. She died on the Isle of Wight in 1901. The last British monarch of the House of Hanover, she was succeeded by her son Edward VII of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.During Victoria’s reign, the political climate in British Parliament went through a major transition. The Tory Party split, forming the Liberal and Conservative parties, and started a succession of opposing administrations. Victoria played a crucial role as a mediator between arriving and departing prime ministers.Life in Britain during the 19th century was known as Victorian England because of Victoria’s long reign and the indelible stamp it and her persona placed on the country. Her strict ethics and personality have become synonymous with the era.Victoria died after a lengthy period of poor health on January 22, 1901, at the age of 81. Her son, the future King Edward VII, and her eldest grandson, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, were both at her bedside.Prince Albert Edward Wettin, Victoria’s eldest son, succeeded her to the British throne as King Edward VII upon her death in 1901.