As a result of her seclusion, republicanism in the United Kingdom temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. [147] At her behest, a reference threatening the "undermining of native religions and customs" was replaced by a passage guaranteeing religious freedom. Victoria, by her own account, “was brought up very simply,” principally at Kensington Palace, where her closest companions, other than her German-born mother, the duchess of Kent, were her half sister, Féodore, and her governess, Louise (afterward the Baroness) Lehzen, a native of Coburg. 1846), Louise (b. Victoria’s great influence on the kingdom made her a popular political figure. "[156] Victoria saw the expansion of the British Empire as civilising and benign, protecting native peoples from more aggressive powers or cruel rulers: "It is not in our custom to annexe countries", she said, "unless we are obliged & forced to do so. [33] In her diary she 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. 77–81; Woodham-Smith, pp. While Victoria inherited all the British Dominions, her father's unpopular younger brother, the Duke of Cumberland, became King of Hanover. 343–344; Longford, p. 389; Marshall, p. 173, Hibbert, p. 345; Longford, pp. 443–444; St Aubyn, pp. 108–109; St Aubyn, pp. The "Victorian Era" began in 1837 and lasted for a record 63 years and seven months, until her death in 1901. [212] From July 1832 until just before her death, she kept a detailed journal, which eventually encompassed 122 volumes. [192] One reason for including the prime ministers of the Dominions and excluding foreign heads of state was to avoid having to invite Victoria's grandson, Wilhelm II of Germany, who, it was feared, might cause trouble at the event. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. 311–312; Longford, p. 347; St Aubyn, p. 369, Hibbert, p. 318; Longford, p. 401; St Aubyn, p. 427; Strachey, p. 254, Longford, p. 381; St Aubyn, pp. Victoria’s father died when she was a baby. 216–217; St Aubyn, pp. [25] William IV, however, disapproved of any match with the Coburgs, and instead favoured the suit of Prince Alexander of the Netherlands, second son of the Prince of Orange. [203], In 1897, Victoria had written instructions for her funeral, which was to be military as befitting a soldier's daughter and the head of the army,[98] and white instead of black. With a reign of 63 years, seven months and two days, Victoria was the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant in world history until her great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth II surpassed her on 9 September 2015. [202] Her favourite pet Pomeranian, Turi, was laid upon her deathbed as a last request. [102] They visited the Exposition Universelle (a successor to Albert's 1851 brainchild the Great Exhibition) and Napoleon I's tomb at Les Invalides (to which his remains had only been returned in 1840), and were guests of honour at a 1,200-guest ball at the Palace of Versailles. Associate Professor of History, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. [170] The following month, Victoria's youngest child, Beatrice, met and fell in love with Prince Henry of Battenberg at the wedding of Victoria's granddaughter Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine to Henry's brother Prince Louis of Battenberg. [222] Contrary to popular belief, her staff and family recorded that Victoria "was immensely amused and roared with laughter" on many occasions. The celebration was marked by vast crowds of spectators and great outpourings of affection for the 78-year-old Queen. 80–81; Longford, pp. At the end of her reign, the Queen's full style was: "Her Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India".[234]. [36], At the time of Victoria's accession, the government was led by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne. William and Edward married on the same day in 1818, but both of William's legitimate daughters died as infants. 384–385, Hibbert, p. 361; Longford, p. 402; Marshall, pp. [140] Mother and son attended a public parade through London and a grand service of thanksgiving in St Paul's Cathedral on 27 February 1872, and republican feeling subsided. [179][180][181] Her family and retainers were appalled, and accused Abdul Karim of spying for the Muslim Patriotic League, and biasing the Queen against the Hindus. [115] Appalled, he travelled to Cambridge, where his son was studying, to confront him. 53–57; St Aubyn, pp. "[183] Victoria dismissed their complaints as racial prejudice. He is so sensible, so kind, and so good, and so amiable too. The Queen hated being pregnant,[65] viewed breast-feeding with disgust,[66] and thought newborn babies were ugly. [44] She hated Conroy, and despised "that odious Lady Flora",[45] because she had conspired with Conroy and the Duchess of Kent in the Kensington System. After his death and George IV’s accession in 1820, Victoria became third in the line of succession to the throne after the duke of York (died 1827) and the duke of Clarence (subsequently William IV), whose own children died in infancy. 326 ff. 88, 436–437, Hibbert, pp. My poor darling Affie gone too", she wrote in her journal. Peel resigned in 1846, after the repeal narrowly passed, and was replaced by Lord John Russell. [100], Napoleon III, who had been Britain's closest ally since the Crimean War,[98] visited London in April 1855, and from 17 to 28 August the same year Victoria and Albert returned the visit. 196–197; St Aubyn, p. 223; Woodham-Smith, pp. 298–307, Hibbert, pp. 287–290, Hibbert, pp. [231] Spontaneous mutations account for about a third of cases.[232]. 426–427; St Aubyn, pp. Premium Membership is now 50% off! [43] Victoria believed the rumours. 38–39; Longford, p. 47; Woodham-Smith, pp. [46] At first, Lady Flora refused to submit to an intimate medical examination, until in mid-February she eventually agreed, and was found to be a virgin. 419, 434–435, 443, e.g. [84], By 1846, Peel's ministry faced a crisis involving the repeal of the Corn Laws. [220] The biographies written by Elizabeth Longford and Cecil Woodham-Smith, in 1964 and 1972 respectively, are still widely admired. On her return Victoria wrote to Derby reprimanding him for the poor state of the Royal Navy in comparison to the French one. When she died and her son Edward VII moved from Marlborough House to Buckingham Palace, the change was one of social rather than of political focus; there was no doubt about the monarchy’s continuance. [165] John Brown died 10 days after her accident, and to the consternation of her private secretary, Sir Henry Ponsonby, Victoria began work on a eulogistic biography of Brown. The bill removed political power from plantation owners who were resisting measures associated with the abolition of slavery. When Victoria became queen, the political role of the crown was by no means clear; nor was the permanence of the throne itself. 101–102, Longford, p. 122; Marshall, p. 57; St Aubyn, p. 104; Woodham-Smith, p. 180, Hibbert, p. 83; Longford, pp. [67] Nevertheless, over the following seventeen years, she and Albert had a further eight children: Albert Edward (b. In addition to Beatrice's edited copy, Lord Esher transcribed the volumes from 1832 to 1861 before Beatrice destroyed them. During her reign the English monarchy took on its modern ceremonial character. She avoided public appearances and rarely set foot in London in the following years. It was only in 1851 that Palmerston was removed after he announced the British government's approval of President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte's coup in France without consulting the Prime Minister. She spent the evening after their wedding lying down with a headache, but wrote ecstatically in her diary: I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! Financially prudent, she paid off her father's debts. 388–389, Hibbert, p. 427; Marshall, p. 176; St Aubyn, p. 389, Hibbert, pp. 3–12; Strachey, pp. 164–166, Hibbert, pp. [213] After Victoria's death, her youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, was appointed her literary executor. Before her accession, she received no grant of arms. The Queen had very strict morals and family values. In her diary she wrote, "I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma, who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conynghamwere here and wished to see me. [119] She entered a state of mourning and wore black for the remainder of her life. [169] On the day after the first anniversary of Brown's death, Victoria was informed by telegram that her youngest son, Leopold, had died in Cannes. Victoria first learned of her future role as a young princess during a history lesson when she was 10 years old. On the death in 1817 of Princess Charlotte, daughter of the prince regent (later George IV), there was no surviving legitimate offspring of George III’s 15 children. 274–276, Longford, pp. The crests, mottoes, and supporters also differ in and outside Scotland. [48] When Lady Flora died in July, the post-mortem revealed a large tumour on her liver that had distended her abdomen. 321–322; Longford, pp. 182–184, 187, Hibbert, p. 123; Longford, p. 143; Woodham-Smith, p. 205, Marshall, p. 152; St Aubyn, pp. "[28] Alexander, on the other hand, she described as "very plain". He was soon promoted to "Munshi": teaching her Urdu (known as Hindustani) and acting as a clerk. [147], In the 1874 general election, Disraeli was returned to power. [227] Of the 42 grandchildren of Victoria and Albert, 34 survived to adulthood. [37] Charles Greville supposed that the widowed and childless Melbourne was "passionately fond of her as he might be of his daughter if he had one", and Victoria probably saw him as a father figure. 390–391; Marshall, p. 176; St Aubyn, p. 388, Charles, p. 103; Hibbert, pp. [134], In 1870 republican sentiment in Britain, fed by the Queen's seclusion, was boosted after the establishment of the Third French Republic. 101–102, Hibbert, p. 42; Longford, pp. Her first name wasn't Victoria. Her great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, eventually surpassed this record and is currently in the 68th year of her reign. [17] Victoria disliked the trips; the constant round of public appearances made her tired and ill, and there was little time for her to rest. [71] Edward Oxford felt that the attempts were encouraged by his acquittal in 1840. [187] In 1894, Gladstone retired and, without consulting the outgoing prime minister, Victoria appointed Lord Rosebery as prime minister. 323–324; Marshall, pp. Both Hamilton and Pate were sentenced to seven years' transportation. Victoria's father died in January 1820, when Victoria was less than a year old. On 3 July, two days after Francis's death sentence was commuted to transportation for life, John William Bean also tried to fire a pistol at the Queen, but it was loaded only with paper and tobacco and had too little charge. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina (or Georgiana), Charlotte, and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother George, Prince Regent. The rumours were false in the opinion of these biographers. Places named after her include Africa's largest lake, Victoria Falls, the capitals of British Columbia (Victoria) and Saskatchewan (Regina), two Australian states (Victoria and Queensland), and the capital of the island nation of Seychelles. [158] When Disraeli died the following year, she was blinded by "fast falling tears",[159] and erected a memorial tablet "placed by his grateful Sovereign and Friend, Victoria R.I."[160], On 2 March 1882, Roderick Maclean, a disgruntled poet apparently offended by Victoria's refusal to accept one of his poems,[161] shot at the Queen as her carriage left Windsor railway station. 363–364; Weintraub, pp. Oxford fired twice, but either both bullets missed or, as he later claimed, the guns had no shot. Her long duration on the throne ushered in the “Victorian era”. Less than a month later, on 20 June 1837, William IV died at the age of 71, and Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom. She died on the Isle of Wight in 1901. [189], On 23 September 1896, Victoria surpassed her grandfather George III as the longest-reigning monarch in British history. [149] She preferred short, simple services, and personally considered herself more aligned with the presbyterian Church of Scotland than the episcopal Church of England. [57] They were married on 10 February 1840, in the Chapel Royal of St James's Palace, London. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (the fourth son of King George III), and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Two schoolboys from Eton College struck him with their umbrellas, until he was hustled away by a policeman. Its expansion into its colonies was unprecedented and literally created its mark on the map. 326, 330, Hibbert, p. 267; Longford, pp. The first of these was Princess Charlotte, who was born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. 503–504; St Aubyn, p. 30; Woodham-Smith, pp. [63] In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Victoria's popularity soared, mitigating residual discontent over the Hastings affair and the bedchamber crisis. The Queen requested that any special celebrations be delayed until 1897, to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee,[190] which was made a festival of the British Empire at the suggestion of the Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain. In March 1864 a protester stuck a notice on the railings of Buckingham Palace that announced "these commanding premises to be let or sold in consequence of the late occupant's declining business". She resisted technological change even while mechanical and technological innovations reshaped the face of European civilization. 422–423; St Aubyn, pp. She had no interest in social issues, yet the 19th century in Britain was an age of reform. 1844), Helena (b. Over 400,000 visitors came to London for the celebrations. 73–74; Woodham-Smith, p. 152, Marshall, p. 47; Waller, p. 356; Woodham-Smith, pp. As Sovereign, Victoria used the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom. [55] Victoria showed interest in Albert's education for the future role he would have to play as her husband, but she resisted attempts to rush her into wedlock.[56]. The assailant escaped; however the following day, Victoria drove the same route, though faster and with a greater escort, in a deliberate attempt to provoke Francis to take a second aim and catch him in the act. The procession paused for an open-air service of thanksgiving held outside St Paul's Cathedral, throughout which Victoria sat in her open carriage, to avoid her having to climb the steps to enter the building. Oh! [143] As a result of the incident, Victoria's popularity recovered further. [177] Two days later on 23 June,[178] she engaged two Indian Muslims as waiters, one of whom was Abdul Karim. 464–466, 488–489; Strachey, p. 308; Waller, p. 442, Victoria's journal, 1 January 1901, quoted in Hibbert, p. 492; Longford, p. 559 and St Aubyn, p. 592, Hibbert, pp. "Oh, God! During her reign the British monarchy took on its modern ceremonial character. 48, 63–64, Marshall, p. 210; Waller, pp. [54] When Victoria complained to Melbourne that her mother's proximity promised "torment for many years", Melbourne sympathised but said it could be avoided by marriage, which Victoria called a "schocking [sic] alternative". For example, about a month after Leopold's birth Albert complained in a letter to Victoria about her "continuance of hysterics" over a "miserable trifle". [94] She found particularly offensive the Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, who often acted without consulting the Cabinet, the Prime Minister, or the Queen. Victoria, in full Alexandrina Victoria, (born May 24, 1819, Kensington Palace, London, England—died January 22, 1901, Osborne, near Cowes, Isle of Wight), queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901) and empress of India (1876–1901). She surpassed the 63 years, seven months and two day-long reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. [15] Similar journeys to other parts of England and Wales were taken in 1832, 1833, 1834 and 1835. 1850), Leopold (b. Almost four decades later Victoria’s governess recalled that the future queen reacted to the discovery by declaring, “I will be good.” This combination of earnestness and egotism marked Victoria as a child of the age that bears her name. [77] In the next four years, over a million Irish people died and another million emigrated in what became known as the Great Famine. 102–103; St Aubyn, pp. Her long duration on the throne ushered in the “Victorian era”. [62] He was tried for high treason, found not guilty by reason of insanity, committed to an insane asylum indefinitely, and later sent to live in Australia. "[197], Following a custom she maintained throughout her widowhood, Victoria spent the Christmas of 1900 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. 354–355, Hibbert, pp. He possesses every quality that could be desired to render me perfectly happy. 554–555; St Aubyn, p. 555, Hibbert, pp. In Scotland, the first and fourth quarters are occupied by the Scottish lion, and the second by the English lions. [21] As a teenager, Victoria resisted persistent attempts by her mother and Conroy to appoint him to her staff. [196], In July 1900, Victoria's second son Alfred ("Affie") died. [98][219] Biographies of Victoria written before much of the primary material became available, such as Lytton Strachey's Queen Victoria of 1921, are now considered out of date. 287–290, Hibbert, pp. [129] The following year she supported the passing of the Reform Act 1867 which doubled the electorate by extending the franchise to many urban working men,[130] though she was not in favour of votes for women. 70–72. Peel became prime minister, and the ladies of the bedchamber most associated with the Whigs were replaced. 230–232, Charles, p. 51; Hibbert, pp. 1–17; Woodham-Smith, pp. [185], Victoria's eldest daughter became Empress consort of Germany in 1888, but she was widowed within the year, and Victoria's eldest grandchild became German Emperor as Wilhelm II. [209] She was the last monarch of Britain from the House of Hanover. Strong-willed, and supported by Lehzen, Victoria survived the Kensington system; when she ascended the throne in 1837, she did so alone. "[110] Almost exactly a year later, the Princess gave birth to the Queen's first grandchild, Wilhelm, who would become the last German Emperor. Through their marriages, many of the royal families of Europe were descended from Victoria. 370–371 and Marshall, pp. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Victoria noted the coincidence of the dates as "almost incredible and most mysterious". [69] Albert, however, thought that Lehzen was incompetent and that her mismanagement threatened his daughter's health. 343–344; Waller, p. 404, Hibbert, pp. [85], Internationally, Victoria took a keen interest in the improvement of relations between France and Britain. [99], In early 1855, the government of Lord Aberdeen, who had replaced Derby, fell amidst recriminations over the poor management of British troops in the Crimean War. Salisbury remained prime minister for the remainder of Victoria's reign. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing gown) and alone, and saw them. 175, 187; St Aubyn, pp. Victoria turned 18 on 24 May 1837, and a regency was avoided. 259–260; Weintraub, pp. 29, 51; Waller, p. 363; Weintraub, pp. 32–33; Longford, pp. 238, 241; Woodham-Smith, pp. [59] Victoria's mother was evicted from the palace, to Ingestre House in Belgrave Square. Salisbury's government only lasted a few months, however, and Victoria was forced to recall Gladstone, whom she referred to as a "half crazy & really in many ways ridiculous old man". Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, "Victoria Regina" redirects here. 160–161, Hibbert, p. 130; Longford, p. 154; Marshall, p. 122; St Aubyn, p. 159; Woodham-Smith, p. 220, Hibbert, p. 149; Longford, p. 154; Marshall, p. 123; Waller, p. 377, Hibbert, pp. [153] In May 1879, she became a great-grandmother (on the birth of Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen) and passed her "poor old 60th birthday". [98] Her funeral was held on Saturday 2 February, in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and after two days of lying-in-state, she was interred beside Prince Albert in the Royal Mausoleum, Frogmore, at Windsor Great Park.[208]. Victoria thought he had "little heart or Zartgefühl [tact] – and ... his conscience & intelligence have been completely wharped [sic]". Albert and Victoria felt mutual affection and the Queen proposed to him on 15 October 1839, just five days after he had arrived at Windsor. [216], Victoria was physically unprepossessing—she was stout, dowdy and only about five feet tall—but she succeeded in projecting a grand image. [127] The story of their relationship was the subject of the 1997 movie Mrs. Brown. 282–284, Hibbert, pp. ... to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! 210–211; St Aubyn, pp. He was her heir presumptive while she was childless. Their children married into royal and noble families across the continent, earning Victoria the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe" and spreading haemophilia in European royalty.