Queen Victoria ruled from 1837 to 1901, the longest reigning monarch in British
history. Victoria was the daughter of Edward the duke of Kent and
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg. She was born in Kensington Palace in
London on 24-May-1819.
In 1837 Queen Victoria took the throne after the death of her uncle
William IV. Due to her secluded childhood, she displayed a personality
marked by strong prejudices and a willful stubbornness.
On 10-Feb-1840, only three years after taking the throne, Victoria
took her first vow and married her cousin Prince Albert of
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Their relationship was one of great love and
admiration. Together they bore nine children - four sons and five
daughters: Victoria, Bertie, Alice, Alfred, Helena, Louise, Arthur,
Leopold, and Beatrice.
Albert assisted in her royal duties. He introduced a strict decorum in
court and made a point of straitlaced behavior. Albert also gave a more
conservative tinge to Victoria’s politics. If Victoria was to
insistently interject her opinions and make her views felt in the
cabinet, it was only because of Albert’s teachings of hard work.
Reflecting back into her childhood, Victoria was always prone to self
pity. On 14-Dec-1861 Albert died from typhoid fever at Windsor
Castle. Victoria remained in self-imposed seclusion for ten years.
This genuine, but obsessive mourning kept her occupied for the rest of
her life and played an important role in the evolution of what would
become the Victorian mentality.
After Albert’s death, Queen Victoria’s popularity declined as a result
of her mourning and few public appearances. Her popularity was at its
lowest by 1870, but it steadily increased thereafter until her death.
In 1876 she was crowned empress of India by Disraeli. In 1887
Victoria’s golden jubilee was a grand national celebration. In the
month of June, Victoria’s sixtieth year on the throne had come. Her
diamond jubilee in 1897 was as extravagant as her golden jubilee in
Queen Victoria died on 22-Jan-1901. She died after a brief
illness and a rather long failure of her powers. Her eldest son Edward
VII became king. The majority of her subjects had not known a time when
Queen Victoria had not been reigning over them. The idea of losing her
became a scarcely possible thought.
Queen Victoria, Widow of Windsor, mother of the Empire, reigned for