Queen Victoria was the longest reigning female monarch in British history. She ascended the throne in 1837, and she remained the queen of Great Britain until her death in 1901. During the time of Queen Victoria’s reign, the United Kingdom was experiencing tremendous industrial, cultural, scientific, and military growth, and it became the most powerful empire in the world. This period became known as the Victorian Era.
Queen Victoria was born on the 24th of May, 1819 in Kensington Palace. Her parents were the Duke of Kent and the Duchess of Kent, and her grandfather George III was the reigning monarch at the time of her birth. She was christened Alexandria Victoria by Charles Manners-Sutton, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Duke of Kent passed away in 1820, and the young princess was left in the care of the Duchess of Kent and her advisor Sir John Conroy. As a child, she was raised under the “Kensington System”, an elaborate system of rules that was established by her guardians to prevent her from interacting with other children and meeting with people who were considered “undesirable”. The princess spent much of her childhood in near isolation, with a King Charles spaniel as her main companion.
Since none of the children of King George III had any surviving legitimate children, Princess Victoria became the heiress presumptive after George IV died in 1830. George IV was succeeded by William IV, who reigned until his death in 1837. At the time of William IV’s death, the princess had just turned 18, and she was named the Queen of Great Britain on the 28th of June, 1838. Queen Victoria took up residence in Buckingham Palace, and she immediately sent her mother to live in a distant section of the palace.
On the 15th of October, 1839, Queen Victoria proposed to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a cousin who had earlier formed a close relationship with her. They had exchanged letters before she became queen, and she had always been impressed with his good looks and charming personality. They married on the 10th of February, 1840, and the marriage resulted in nine children, namely, Princess Victoria (born in 1840), Prince of Wales (1841) who became Edward VII later, Princess Alice (1843), Prince Alfred (1844), Princess Helena (1846), Princess Louise (1848), Prince Arthur (1850), Prince Leopold (1853), and Princess Beatrice (1857). Queen Victoria had a total of 37 grandchildren when she passed away.
Prince Albert was not only a good husband to Queen Victoria; he was also her advisor in political matters. In her early years as queen, she was greatly influenced by Lord Melbourne, the Whig Prime Minister, but she started to take advice from Prince Albert after their marriage. Throughout her reign as the Queen of Great Britain, Prince Albert had significant influence on her decision-making, and he considered himself a “permanent minister” to the queen. Her trust in Prince Albert ensured that the monarchy continued to play an important role in British politics, and his involvement in politics was so evident that many people started to refer to the monarchy as the “Albertine Monarchy”. The royal couple’s reign was highlighted by the Great Exhibition, a grand event that demonstrated the prosperity and great technological achievements of Great Britain to the world.
When Prince Albert died in 1861, Queen Victoria was completely devastated, and she started to wear black clothes for the rest of her life. She became increasingly isolated from the public, and she started to become more emotionally dependent on her manservant, John Brown. Queen Victoria passed away when she was vacationing in the Isle of Wight in 1901. She was succeeded by her son Edward VII.
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