Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, British monarch, 1819-1901 

Her majesty Queen Victoria’s reign of the United Kingdom spanned from 1837, at the age of 18, to her death in 1901. She was also the Empress of India in her later years, and scandalously at the time, had a young Indian attendant and cook, Abdul Karim, who was her close companion. So great was the Queen’s influence that an entire era, The Victorian Age, was named in her honour. The modern monarchy that we know today was developed under her reign, and many of Europe’s royals are descendants of her nine children.

Queen Victoria was born in London, England. She learned her future as princess and queen in a history lesson from her governess at the age of 10. “I will be good,” was her precocious response. She had a simple upbringing and was isolated for her own protection, but was considered warm and lively, and a gifted artist. When she was a young Queen she inspired a trend for wearing tartan and tweed throughout the British Commonwealth. 

Queen Victoria was considered a conservative, ethical monarch who disliked technology and children, however many of the key advances of the era took place under her reign and she had four sons and five daughters. Darwin’s theory of evolution was published under her unprecedented 63-year reign, the London Underground was built, and many other advances in technology and civic works took place, as well as the expansion of literacy and the establishment of the popular press. 

So strong was her bond with her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, that the Queen went into a 25-year period of mourning and seclusion upon his death after 21 years of marriage. For the rest of her life she only wore black. The Queen became unpopular for a time, and citizens launched a republican movement, however her Diamond Jubilee and appointment as Empress of India restored their faith and respect for the monarchy. Her key achievement was to change the role of the monarchy from a political one to a ceremonial one which served to preserve the institution to this day. 


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