(Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January
1901) was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland from 20 June 1837, and the first Empress of India from 1 May
1876, until her death on 22 January 1901. Her reign as Queen lasted
63 years and seven months, longer than that of any other British
monarch to date. The period centred on her reign is known as the
The Funeral of Queen Victoria 1901
Though Victoria ascended the throne at a time when the United
Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy in which
the king or queen held few political powers, she still served as a
very important symbolic figure of her time. The Victorian era
represented the height of the Industrial Revolution, a period of
significant social, economic, and technological progress in the
United Kingdom. Victoria's reign was marked by a great expansion of
the British Empire; during this period it reached its zenith,
becoming the foremost global power of the time.
Victoria was the granddaughter of George III, and was a
descendant of most major European royal houses. She arranged
marriages for her nine children and forty two grandchildren across
the continent, tying Europe together; this earned her the nickname
"the grandmother of Europe."
She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son
King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Later, in the United Kingdom, King George V changed the house name
from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the (currently serving) House
of Windsor in 1917.
At the age of 50, The Duke of Kent, fourth son of George III,
married a widow, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.
Victoria, the couple's only child, was born in Kensington Palace,
London on 24 May 1819. At birth she was fifth in line for the
British crown, after her grandfather, George III, her father's three
older brothers, and her father.
Victoria was christened in the Cupola Room of Kensington Palace
on 24 June 1819 by The Archbishop of Canterbury (Charles
Manners-Sutton). Her godparents were The Prince Regent (her paternal
uncle), The Russian Tsar (Alexander I, her fourth cousin, in whose
honour she received her first name), The Princess Royal (her
paternal aunt) and The Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (her
maternal grandmother). Although christened Alexandrina Victoria —
and from birth formally styled Her Royal Highness Princess
Victoria of Kent — Victoria was called Drina within the family.
She was taught German, English, Italian, Greek and French,
arithmetic, music and her favourite subject, history.
Her teachers were the Reverend George Davys and Baroness Louise
Lehzen, her governess.
When she learned from Baroness Lehzen that one day she could be
queen, Victoria replied, "I will be good."
Her name, though finally agreed upon as Alexandrina Victoria, was
disputed by her mother and uncles. The future King William IV
proposed Elizabeth, while objecting to naming the princess for her
mother, saying Victoria was "never known heretofore as a Christian
name of this country." The Duchess of Kent refused. Charlotte was
considered, in honour of the deceased princess, (see below), but it
was ultimately decided to leave the name as Victoria; the official
reason stated was that the English people had grown accustomed to
hearing of the princess by that name and were partial to it.
Victoria's father, the fourth son and fifth child of George III,
died after a brief illness on 23 January 1820 just eight months
after Victoria was born. King George III, her grandfather, died six
days later on 29 January 1820. At that point, Victoria's uncle, the
Prince Regent, inherited the Crown, becoming King George IV. George
IV's only legitimate child, Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, had
died from post-partum complications in 1817, after delivering a
still-born son. When Princess Charlotte died, the remaining
unmarried sons of King George III, including Victoria's father,
scrambled to marry and father children to guarantee the line of
George IV died in 1830. As the second son of George III, Prince
Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, had died without issue in 1827,
George IV was therefore succeeded by another brother. This was the
third son of George III, Prince William, Duke of Clarence, who
reigned as William IV. (The fourth child of George III, Charlotte,
Princess Royal, though not in line for the throne before her
brothers, died in 1828.)
Mrs Brown  DVD - About Queen Victoria and Mr. Brown
"A romantic drama, this
John Madden film looks
at the relationship
between Queen Victoria
and John Brown, a
commoner who, though a
servant, becomes her
closest friend and
confidant. As such, he
proves the catalyst to
bring her back into
public life and out of
her private mourning for
the late Prince Albert."
Heiress to the Throne
Although William IV was the father of ten illegitimate children
by his mistress, the actress Dorothy Jordan, he had no surviving
legitimate children. As a result, the young Princess Victoria, his
niece, became heiress presumptive.
The law at the time made no special provision for a child
monarch. Therefore, a Regent needed to be appointed if Victoria were
to succeed to the throne before coming of age at the age of
eighteen. Parliament passed the Regency Act 1830, which
provided that Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent, would act as
Regent during the queen's minority. Parliament did not create a
council to limit the powers of the Regent. King William disliked the
Duchess and, on at least one occasion, stated that he wanted to live
until Victoria's 18th birthday, so a regency could be avoided.
Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Princess Victoria met her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg
and Gotha, when she was just seventeen in 1836.
But it was not until a second meeting in 1839 that she said of him,
" …dear Albert… He is so sensible, so kind, and so good, and so
amiable too. He has besides, the most pleasing and delightful
exterior and appearance you can possibly see."
Prince Albert was Victoria's first cousin; his father was her
mother's brother, Ernst. As a monarch, Victoria had to propose to
him. Their marriage proved to be very happy.
Accession to the Throne
On 24 May 1837 Victoria turned 18, meaning that a regency was no
longer necessary. On 20 June 1837, Victoria was awakened by her
mother to find that William IV had died from heart failure at the
age of 71. In her
diary Victoria wrote, "I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma …who told
me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here and
wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room
(only in my dressing gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham
then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and
had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that
I am Queen…"
Victoria was now Queen of the United Kingdom.
Her coronation took place on 28 June 1838.
Under Salic Law, however, no woman could be heir to the throne of
Hanover, a realm which had shared a monarch with Britain since 1714.
Hanover passed to her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale,
who became King Ernest Augustus I of Hanover. (He was the fifth son
and eighth child of George III.)
As the young queen was as yet unmarried and childless, Ernest
Augustus also remained the heir presumptive to the throne of the
United Kingdom until Victoria's first child was born in 1840.
At the time of her accession, the government was controlled by
the Whig Party, which had been in power, except for brief intervals,
since 1830. The Whig Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, at once became
a powerful influence in the life of the politically inexperienced
Queen, who relied on him for advice. (Some even referred to Victoria
as "Mrs. Melbourne".)
However, the Melbourne ministry would not stay in power for long; it
was growing unpopular and, moreover, faced considerable difficulty
in governing the British colonies (see Rebellions of 1837). In 1839,
Lord Melbourne resigned.
Victoria's principal adviser was her uncle King Leopold I of
Belgium (her mother's brother, and the widower of Princess
Charlotte). Queen Victoria's cousins, through Leopold, were King
Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico.
The Queen then commissioned Sir Robert Peel, a Tory, to form a
new ministry, but was faced with a débâcle known as the Bedchamber
Crisis. At the time, it was customary for appointments to the Royal
Household to be based on the patronage system (that is, for the
Prime Minister to appoint members of the Royal Household on the
basis of their party loyalties). Many of the Queen's Ladies of the
Bedchamber were wives of Whigs, but Sir Robert Peel expected to
replace them with wives of Tories. Victoria strongly objected to the
removal of these ladies, whom she regarded as close friends rather
than as members of a ceremonial institution. Sir Robert Peel felt
that he could not govern under the restrictions imposed by the
Queen, and consequently resigned his commission, allowing Melbourne
to return to office.
Marriage and assassination attempts
The Queen married her first cousin, Prince Albert, on 10 February
1840, in the Chapel Royal of St. James's Palace, London.
Albert became not only the Queen's companion, but also an important
political advisor, replacing Lord Melbourne as the dominant figure
in the first half of her life.
During Victoria's first pregnancy, eighteen-year old Edward
Oxford attempted to assassinate the Queen while she was riding in a
carriage with Prince Albert in London.
Oxford fired twice, but both bullets missed. He was tried for high
treason, but was acquitted on the grounds of insanity. The shooting
had no effect on the Queen's health or on her pregnancy and the
first of the royal couple's nine children, named Victoria, was born
on 21 November 1840.
Two further attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria occurred in
May and July 1842:
On 29 May at St. James's Park, John Francis fired a pistol at the
Queen while she was in a carriage,
but was immediately seized by Police Constable William Trounce.
Francis was convicted of high treason. The death sentence was
commuted to transportation for life.
On 13 June 1842, Victoria made her first journey by train,
travelling from Slough railway station (near Windsor Castle) to
Bishop's Bridge, near Paddington (in London), in a special royal
carriage provided by the Great Western Railway. Accompanying her
were her husband and the engineer of the Great Western line,
Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The Queen and the Prince Consort both
complained the train was going too fast at 20 mph (30 km/h), fearing
the train would derail off the railway line.
On July 3, just days after Francis's sentence was commuted,
another boy, John William Bean,
attempted to shoot the Queen. Prince Albert felt that the attempts
were encouraged by Oxford's acquittal in 1840. Although his gun was
loaded only with paper and tobacco, his crime was still punishable
by death. Feeling that such a penalty would be too harsh, Prince
Albert encouraged Parliament to pass the Treason Act of 1842. Under
the new law, an assault with a dangerous weapon in the monarch's
presence with the intent of alarming her was made punishable by
seven years imprisonment and flogging. Bean was thus sentenced to 18
months' imprisonment; however, neither he, nor any person who
violated the act in the future, was flogged.
Early Victorian politics and further
Peel's ministry soon faced a crisis involving the repeal of the
Corn Laws. Many Tories - by then known also as Conservatives - were
opposed to the repeal, but some Tories (the "Peelites") and most
Whigs supported it. Peel resigned in 1846, after the repeal narrowly
passed, and was replaced by Lord John Russell. Russell's ministry,
though Whig, was not favoured by the Queen. Particularly offensive
to Victoria was the Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston,
who often acted without consulting the Cabinet, the Prime Minister,
or the Queen.
In 1849, Victoria lodged a complaint with Lord John Russell,
claiming that Palmerston had sent official dispatches to foreign
leaders without her knowledge. She repeated her remonstrance in
1850, but to no avail. It was only in 1851 that Lord Palmerston was
removed from office; he had on that occasion announced the British
government's approval for President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte's coup
in France without prior consultation of the Prime Minister.
The period during which Russell was prime minister also proved
personally distressing to Queen Victoria. In 1849, an unemployed and
disgruntled Irishman named William Hamilton attempted to alarm the
Queen by firing a powder-filled pistol as her carriage passed along
Constitution Hill, London. Hamilton was charged under the 1842 act;
he pleaded guilty and received the maximum sentence of seven years
of penal transportation.
In 1850, the Queen did sustain injury when she was assaulted by a
possibly insane ex-Army officer, Robert Pate. As Victoria was riding
in a carriage, Pate struck her with his cane, crushing her bonnet
and bruising her. Pate was later tried; he failed to prove his
insanity, and received the same sentence as Hamilton.
The young Queen Victoria fell in love with Ireland, choosing to
holiday in Killarney in Kerry. Her love of the island was matched by
initial Irish warmth towards the young Queen. In 1845, Ireland was
hit by a potato blight that over four years cost the lives of over
one million Irish peopleAn
Gorta Mór), the Queen personally donated 2,000 pounds sterling
to the starving Irish people.
However, Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid declared his intention to send
10,000 sterling to Irish farmers but Queen Victoria requested that
the Sultan send only 1,000 sterling, because she had sent only 2,000
and saw the emigration of another million .
In response to what came to be called the Irish Potato Famine (
The policies of her minister Lord John Russell were often blamed
for exacerbating the severity of the famine, killing a million
Irishmen, which adversely affected the Queen's popularity in
Victoria was a strong supporter of the Irish. She supported the
Maynooth Grant and made a point, on visiting Ireland, of visiting
Victoria's first official visit to Ireland, in 1849, was
specifically arranged by Lord Clarendon, the Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland, the head of the British administration, to try both to draw
attention from the famine and also to alert British politicians
through the Queen's presence to the seriousness of the crisis in
Ireland. Despite the negative impact of the famine on the Queen's
popularity she remained popular enough for nationalists at party
meetings to finish by singing God Save the Queen.
By the 1870s and 1880s the monarchy's appeal in Ireland had
diminished substantially, partly because Victoria refused to visit
Ireland in protest at the Dublin Corporation's decision not to
congratulate her son, the Prince of Wales on both his marriage to
Princess Alexandra of Denmark and on the birth of the royal couple's
oldest son, Prince Albert Victor.
Victoria refused repeated pressure from a number of prime
ministers, lords lieutenant and even members of the Royal Family, to
establish a royal residence in Ireland.
Lord Midleton, the former head of the Irish unionist party, writing
in his memoirs of 1930 Ireland: Dupe or Heroine?, described
this decision as having proved disastrous to the monarchy and
British rule in Ireland.
Victoria paid her last visit to Ireland in 1900, when she came to
appeal to Irishmen to join the British Army and fight in the Second
Boer War. Nationalist opposition to her visit was spearheaded by
Arthur Griffith, who established an organisation called Cumann na
nGaedhael to unite the opposition. Five years later Griffith
used the contacts established in his campaign against the queen's
visit to form a new political movement, Sinn Féin.
The Prince Consort died of typhoid fever on 14 December 1861 due
to the primitive sanitary conditions at Windsor Castle. His death
who entered a state of mourning and wore black for the remainder of
her life. She avoided public appearances and rarely set foot in
London in the following years. Her seclusion earned her the name
"Widow of Windsor". She blamed her son Edward, the Prince of Wales,
for his father's death, since news of the Prince's poor conduct had
come to his father in November, leading Prince Albert to travel to
Cambridge to confront his son.
Victoria's self-imposed isolation from the public greatly
diminished the popularity of the monarchy, and even encouraged the
growth of the republican movement. Although she did undertake her
official government duties, she chose to remain secluded in her
royal residences, Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Osborne House on the
Isle of Wight and Windsor Castle. During this time, one of the most
important pieces of legislation of the nineteenth century—the Reform
Act 1867—was passed by Parliament. Lord Palmerston was vigorously
opposed to electoral reform, but his ministry ended upon his death
in 1865. He was followed by Earl Russell (the former Lord John
Russell), and afterwards by Lord Derby, during whose ministry the
Reform Act was passed.
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli was a staunch supporter of the
expansion and preservation of the British Empire. He introduced the
Royal Titles Act 1876 which created Queen Victoria Empress of India,
raising her from queen to empress, the same level as the German
Emperor and the Russian Tsar for the purposes of protocol.
As time went by Victoria began to rely increasingly on a
manservant from Scotland, John Brown.
A romantic connection and even a secret marriage have been alleged,
but both charges are generally discredited. However, when Victoria's
remains were laid in the coffin, two sets of mementoes were placed
with her, at her request. By her side was placed one of Albert's
dressing gowns while in her left hand was placed a piece of Brown's
hair, along with a picture of him. It was learned in 2008 that
Victoria's body wore the wedding ring of John Brown's mother, placed
on her hand after her death. Rumours of an affair and marriage
earned Victoria the nickname "Mrs Brown".
The story of their relationship was the subject of the 1997 movie Mrs. Brown.
Golden Jubilee and an assassination
In 1887, the British Empire celebrated Victoria's Golden Jubilee.
Victoria marked the fiftieth anniversary of her accession, 20 June
1887, with a banquet to which 50 European kings and princes were
invited. Although she could not have been aware of it, there was a
plan - ostensibly by Irish anarchists - to blow up Westminster Abbey
while the Queen attended a service of thanksgiving. This
assassination attempt, when it was discovered, became known as The
Jubilee Plot. On the next day, she participated in a procession
that, in the words of Mark Twain, "stretched to the limit of sight
in both directions". By this time, Victoria was once again an
extremely popular monarch.
On 22 September 1896, Victoria surpassed George III as the
longest reigning monarch in English, Scottish, and British history.
The Queen requested all special public celebrations of the event to
be delayed until 1897, to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee. The
Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, proposed that the Diamond
Jubilee be made a festival of the British Empire.
The Prime Ministers of all the self-governing dominions and
colonies were invited. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee procession
included troops from every British colony and dominion, together
with soldiers sent by Indian princes and chiefs as a mark of respect
to Victoria, the Empress of India. The Diamond Jubilee celebration
was an occasion marked by great outpourings of affection for the
septuagenarian Queen. A service of thanksgiving was held outside St.
Paul's Cathedral. Queen Victoria sat in her carriage throughout the
service. Queen Victoria wore her usual black mourning dress trimmed
with white lace.
Many trees were planted to celebrate the Jubilee including 60 oak
trees at Henley-on-Thames in the shape of a Victoria Cross.
Following a custom she maintained throughout her widowhood
Victoria spent Christmas at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. She
died there from a cerebral haemorrhage on Tuesday 22 January 1901,
at the age of 81. At her deathbed she was attended by her son, the
future King, and her eldest grandson, German Emperor William II. As
she had wished, her own sons lifted her into the coffin. She was
dressed in a white dress and her wedding veil. Her funeral was held
on Saturday February 2, and after two days of lying-in-state, she
was interred beside Prince Albert in Frogmore Mausoleum at Windsor
Great Park. Since Victoria disliked black funerals, London was
instead festooned in purple and white. Flags in the United States
were lowered to half-staff in her honour by order of President
William McKinley, a tribute never before offered to a foreign
monarch at the time and one which was repaid by Britain when
McKinley was assassinated later that year. When she was laid to rest
at Frogmore Mausoleum, it began to snow.
Victoria had reigned for a total of 63 years, seven months and two
days—the longest of any British monarch.
Victoria's death brought an end to the rule of the House of
Hanover in the United Kingdom. As her husband belonged to the House
of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, her son and heir Edward VII was the first
British monarch of this new house.
Queen Victoria's reign marked the gradual establishment of modern
constitutional monarchy. A series of legal reforms saw the House of
Commons' power increase, at the expense of the House of Lords and
the monarchy, with the monarch's role becoming gradually more
symbolic. Since Victoria's reign the monarch has had only, in Walter
Bagehot's words, "the right to be consulted, the right to advise,
and the right to warn".
As Victoria's monarchy became more symbolic than political, it
placed a strong emphasis on morality and family values, in contrast
to the sexual, financial and personal scandals that had been
associated with previous members of the House of Hanover and which
had discredited the monarchy. Victoria's reign created for Britain
the concept of the 'family monarchy' with which the burgeoning
middle classes could identify.
Internationally Victoria was a major figure, not just in image or
in terms of Britain's influence through the empire, but also because
of family links throughout Europe's royal families, earning her the
affectionate nickname "the grandmother of Europe". For example,
three of the main monarchs with countries involved in the First
World War on the opposing side were either grandchildren of
Victoria's or married to a grandchild of hers. Eight of Victoria's
nine children married members of European royal families, and the
other, Princess Louise, married the Marquis of Lorne, a future
Governor-General of Canada.
Victoria was the first known carrier of haemophilia in the royal
line. Since no haemophiliacs were among her known ancestors, hers
was quite possibly an instance of spontaneous mutation, which
account for about 33% of all haemophilia A and 20% of all
haemophilia B cases. The sudden appearance of hæmophilia in
Victoria's descendants has led to suggestions that her true father
was not the Duke of Kent but a haemophiliac. This belief is
dismissed by geneticists, who consider it more likely that the
mutation arose because Victoria's father was old (haemophilia arises
more frequently in the children of older fathers). There is no
documentary evidence of a haemophiliac man having access to
Victoria's mother, and as male carriers always suffer the disease,
even if such a man had existed he would have been seriously ill.
Evidence indicates Victoria passed the gene on to two of her five
daughters: Princess Alice and Princess Beatrice. Her son, Prince
Leopold was affected by the disease. The most famous haemophilia
victims among her descendants were her great-grandson, Alexei,
Tsarevich of Russia and Alfonso, Prince of Asturias and Infante
Gonzalo of Spain, the eldest and youngest sons of King Alfonso XIII
of Spain and Queen Victoria Eugenie (Victoria's granddaughter).
As of 2008, the European monarchs and former monarchs descended
from Victoria are: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (as well
as her husband), King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustaf of
Sweden, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Juan Carlos I of Spain
(as well as his wife), and the deposed Kings Constantine II of
Greece (as well as his wife) and Michael of Romania. The pretenders
to the thrones of Serbia, Russia, Prussia and Germany, Saxe-Coburg
and Gotha, Hanover, Hesse, Baden and France (Legitimist) are also
Queen Victoria experienced unpopularity during the first years of
her widowhood, but afterwards became extremely well-liked during the
1880s and 1890s. In 2002, the British Broadcasting Corporation
conducted a poll regarding the 100 Greatest Britons; Victoria
attained eighteenth place.
Innovations of the Victorian era include postage stamps, the
first of which—the Penny Black (issued 1840)—featured an image of
the Queen, and the railway, which Victoria was the first British
Sovereign to use.
Several places in the world have been named after Victoria,
including two Australian States (Victoria and Queensland), the
capitals of British Columbia (Victoria, British Columbia), and
Saskatchewan (Regina), the capital of the Seychelles, Africa's
largest lake, and Victoria Falls. See also List of places named
after Queen Victoria.
Victoria Day is a Canadian statutory holiday celebrated on the
last Monday before or on May 24 in honour of both Queen Victoria's
birthday and the current reigning Canadian Sovereign's birthday.
While Victoria Day is often thought of as a purely Canadian event,
it is also celebrated in some parts of Scotland, particularly in
Edinburgh and Dundee, where it is also a public holiday.
Queen Victoria remains the most commemorated British monarch in
history, with statues to her erected throughout the former
territories of the British Empire. These range from the prominent,
such as the Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace, which was
erected as part of the remodelling of the façade of the Palace a
decade after her death, to the obscure: in the town of Cape Coast,
Ghana, a bust of the Queen presides, rather forlornly, over a small
park where goats graze around her. Many institutions, thoroughfares,
parks, and structures bear her name. See also Victoria
Post-colonial sensitivities have led to the removal of Victoria's
image and name from some of these legacies. For instance, probably
the grandest train station and terminus in Mumbai (formerly Bombay)
India, Victoria Terminus, has been renamed after the seventeenth
century Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji. A famous engineering
college in the same city, Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute (VJTI)
has been cleverly renamed after the queen mother of king Shivaji,
Jijabai: the new name Veermata Jijabai Technical Institute
conveniently retains the same well known abbreviation, VJTI. The
statue of Queen Victoria sculpted by Irishman John Hughes, erected
in front of Leinster House in Dublin in 1924, was removed in 1947
after years of criticism that it was inappropriate to have the
British Queen's likeness stand in front of the Oireachtas, the
parliament of the Irish Free State. After decades in storage the
statue was given by Ireland to Australia and unveiled on 20 December
1987 to stand outside the Queen Victoria Building in the centre of
Sydney, capital city of the Australian state of New South Wales.
There is a statue of Queen Victoria in Victoria Square in
Adelaide, capital city of the Australian state of South Australia;
in Queen's Square in Brisbane, capital city of the Australian state
of Queensland; and in the Domain Gardens in Melbourne, the capital
of the Australian State of Victoria. A bronze statue of Queen
Victoria stands in the main street of the city of Ballarat in
Victoria, Australia. At Bangalore, India, the statue of the Queen
stands at the beginning of MG Road, one of the city's major roads.
Statues erected to Victoria are common in Canada, where her reign
was coterminous with the confederation of the country and the
creation of several new provinces. A bas-relief image of Victoria is
on the wall of the entrance to the Canadian Parliament, and her
statue is in the Parliamentary library as well as on the grounds.
Queen Victoria invited Martha Ann Ricks, on behalf of Liberian
Ambassador Edward Wilmont Blyden, to Windsor Castle on 16 July 1892.
Martha Ricks, a former slave from Tennessee, had saved her pennies
for more than fifty years, to afford the voyage from Liberia to
England to see the Queen and thank the Queen for sending the British
navy to patrol the coast of West Africa to prevent slavers from
exporting Africans for the slave trade. Martha Ricks shook hands
with the Queen and presented her with a Coffee Tree quilt, which
Queen Victoria later sent to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
for display. A mystery remains as to where the Coffee Tree quilt is
Titles, styles, coat of arms and
Titles and styles
- 24 May 1819–20 June 1837:
Her Royal Highness
Princess Victoria of Kent
- 20 June 1837–22 January 1901:
Her Majesty The
- 1 May 1876–22 January 1901:
Majesty The Queen-Empress (occasionally)
As the male-line granddaughter of a King of Hanover, Victoria
also bore the titles of Princess of Hanover and Duchess of Brunswick
and Lunenburg. In addition, she held the titles of Princess of
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duchess in Saxony, etc, as the wife of
Coat of arms
Victoria's coat of arms were: Quarterly, I and IV Gules three
lions passant guardant in pale Or (for England); II Or a lion
rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for
Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland).
This same coat of arms has been used by every subsequent British
Victoria's Royal Cypher was the first to be used on a postbox.
The letters are "VR" interlaced, standing for Victoria Regina.
Although Victoria eventual Imperatrix) when she became Empress, this never appeared on
postboxes. Victoria's cypher was the only one to appear on postboxes
without a crown above it.
|The Princess Victoria, Princess Royal
||21 November 1840
||5 August 1901
||Married 1858, Friedrich III, German
Emperor and King of Prussia; had issue.
|King Edward VII
||9 November 1841
||6 May 1910
||Married 1863, Princess Alexandra of
Denmark; had issue.
|The Princess Alice
||25 April 1843
||14 December 1878
||Married 1862, Ludwig IV, Grand Duke
of Hesse and by Rhine; had issue.
|The Prince Alfred, Duke of
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke of Edinburgh
||6 August 1844
||31 July 1900
||Married 1874, Grand Duchess Marie
Alexandrovna of Russia; had issue.
|The Princess Helena
||25 May 1846
||9 June 1923
||Married 1866, Prince Christian of
Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg; had issue.
|The Princess Louise
||18 March 1848
||3 December 1939
||Married 1871, John Douglas Sutherland
Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll; no issue.
|The Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught
||1 May 1850
||16 January 1942
||Married 1879, Princess Louise
Margarete of Prussia; had issue.
|The Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
||7 April 1853
||28 March 1884
||Married 1882, Princess Helena of
Waldeck and Pyrmont; had issue.
|The Princess Beatrice
||14 April 1857
||26 October 1944
||Married 1885, Prince Henry of
Battenberg; had issue.
Queen Victoria surpassed her grandfather, George III, as the
longest-lived British monarch when she reached the age of 81 years
and 240 days on 19 January 1901, only three days before her death.
She has since been surpassed by her great-great-granddaughter
Elizabeth II on December 21, 2007. Victoria spent over
three-quarters of her life as Queen, the highest ratio of any
British monarch since the Restoration in 1660.
She outlived three of her nine children, and came within seven
months of outliving a fourth (her eldest daughter, Vicky, who died
of spinal cancer in August 1901 aged 60). She outlived eleven of her
42 grandchildren (two stillborn, six as children, and three as
adults), and three of her 88 great-grandchildren. Following the
death of Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark on October 2,
2007, there is just one remaining great-grandchild of Queen Victoria
who is still living: Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Sweden.
The Queen and all her female-line descendants are known to be
members of mitochondrial haplogroup H.
- The design of the Queen's head on the first postage stamp
was based upon the 1837 Wyon City medal engraved by a famous
coin engraver William Wyon. The design of Queen Victoria's head
is based on a sitting when she was a princess aged 15.
- Queen Victoria was 20 when the Penny Black stamp was issued
on 6 May 1840. Her profile on British stamps never aged; the
design of her head remained the same for 60 years.
- Prince Albert introduced Christmas trees to the court and
this was soon copied by Victoria's subjects.
- Every day for forty years after the Prince Consort's death,
the Queen ordered that his clothes be laid afresh on his bed in
his suite at Windsor Castle.
- Queen Victoria was known to the Blackfoot Nation as
Ninaki or Chief Woman, while the common expression
for her was Great Mother.
- After one of the attempts on her life, an armoured parasol
was designed for her; it had a layer of chain mail between its
cover and lining. The armour made it weigh more than three
pounds, and it probably did not see any use.
- Queen Victoria was the only world leader to respond
positively to messages that were sent to 19th century monarchs
by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, inviting them
to establish a "Most Great Peace".
- Queen Victoria started the tradition of a bride wearing a
white dress at her wedding. Before Victoria's wedding a bride
would wear her best dress of no particular colour.
- Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to take up residence
at Buckingham Palace, in 1837.
- Victoria was the great-grandmother of the famous Russian
princess Grand Duchess Anastasia. Anastasia's mother, Alexandra
Fyodorovna was the sixth child of Victoria's third daughter
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