Alexandrina Victoria (Queen Victoria) was born in Kensington Palace, London, on May 24th, 1819. Her father, Edward, Duke of Kent, son of George III, died shortly after. So, her German-born mother was a significant influence in bringing her up. Besides, her three uncles (George IV, Frederick Duke of York, and William IV) had no children. Thus, she became the successor to the throne.
Sir John Conroy, an advisor of her mother, believed that Victoria’s uncles were a threat. As a result, he isolated young Victoria as much as possible, leaving her unhappy and depressed. In reality, Conroy’s motivation was to control the future Queen of the United Kingdom.
William IV died on June 20th, 1837, of a heart attack. Aged just 18, she succeeded the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The coronation of Queen Victoria took place on June 28th, 1838. Two years later, she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Albert was her first cousin, whom she had known for a few years.
Queen Victoria and the British Empire
Queen Victoria was a very energetic and competent but also harsh monarch. The early period of her reign was under the direct impact of Whig Prime minister Lord Melbourne.
While on the throne, Queen Victoria oversaw many critical changes, including the abolishment of slavery and later of child labor. Besides, it was the era of vital industrial development.
The British Empire expanded its borders. Seizing nearly a quarter of the world’s land, it was the largest empire in human history. From 1876, Victoria was also the Emperor of India. In conclusion, it was one of the most thriving periods in the British Empire.
On the other hand, Victoria also had to deal with many problems, for example, the Great Famine in Ireland or the Crimean and Bore wars. A devastating blow to her life was the death of Albert in 1861. Lastly, she also survived six assassination attacks.
She had nine children that married all over Europe. That gave her the nickname Grandmother of Europe. After serving for over 63 years, Queen Victoria died on January 22nd, 1901, on the Isle of Wight. Only Queen Elizabeth II sat on the UK throne longer than Victoria.
“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.”Queen Victoria