Victoria I

(Victoria of Great Britain, Alexandrina Victoria)


Victoria was Queen of England for 63 years, which corresponded approximately to the height of power of the British Empire. Nineteenth century Britain, is commonly referred to as "Victorian England". The monarchy had very little power by the age of Victoria, and she did not take an active role in the leadership of government, but she was a very important cultural character, and she figured prominently in ceremonial functions. As queen she gave birth to nine children, whom she took responsibility for raising herself, and in doing so helped to epitomize the ideal of a large and loving British family. Her marriage to Prince Albert was a very happy and faithful one, but he died after only 21 years of marriage, and she ruled as a widow for over forty years.

Victoria was born to Edward, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of George III. Because she had many other uncles it was doubtful that she would ascend to the throne, but after the death of several male cousins, it became obvious that she was in line for the throne. She was raised by a very conservative german mother who protected her from the worst influences of royal life, an instilled in her great manners and noble values. She ascended to the throne at age 18, and immediately impressed all by her noble bearing. She carried on her expected functions with great maturity, and within two years married her cousin Albert Saxe-Coburg. From that point she deferred much of her administrative duties to her husband and focused as much as possible on her growing family.

Major events during Victoria's reign included the Irish Potato Famine, the Crimean War, the American Civil War, the Indian Mutiny, and the Zulu, Boer, and Sudanese Wars in Africa. The Victorian era also produced a great many literary and scientific heroes such as Dickens, Thackeray, Tennyson, Darwin, Faraday, and Lord Kelvin. The population and expanse of the British Empire, and the amount of international trade carried on by Britain grew tremendously during her reign, and great innovations were made in all fields pertaining to science, commerce, and politics. Victoria herself, however, lived a largely secluded life, particularly after the death of her husband and did not take an active role in these goings on.

Victoria's reign spanned the careers of several important statesmen in Britain, including the Duke of Wellington, Robert Peel, William Gladstone, and Benjamin Disraeli. She did not interfere in politics, but lent her support to concerns of national interest such as war efforts and various charities. She was revered as a symbol of ideal domesticity, as well as the queen of the most powerful nation on earth. She died 1901.

Key events during the life of Queen Victoria:

Birth of Victoria
Ascended to the throne of England
Whig government was replaced by Tories.
Married Prince Albert Saxe-Coburg
International Exhibition in Hyde Park.
Death of Albert, Prince Consort
Became Empress of India and Great Britain
Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria
Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria (60 year reign)
Death of Queen Victoria

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Victoria the Good  in  Cambridge Historical Reader—Primary  by  Cambridge Press
Queen and Empress  in  Stories from English History, Part Third  by  Alfred J. Church
Early Reign of Queen Victoria  in  The Story of England  by  Samuel B. Harding
Victoria—The Girl Queen  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall
Jubilees of Queen Victoria  in  Historical Tales: English  by  Charles Morris
Victoria—Queen of England  in  Growth of the British Empire  by  M. B. Synge
Reign of Queen Victoria  in  Growth of the British Empire  by  M. B. Synge
Great Exhibition  in  The Reign of Queen Victoria  by  M. B. Synge
Queen's Jubilee  in  The Reign of Queen Victoria  by  M. B. Synge
Passing of the Queen  in  The Reign of Queen Victoria  by  M. B. Synge

Book Links
In the Days of Queen Victoria  by  E. M. Tappan

Image Links

Queen Victoria
 in Cambridge Historical Reader—Primary

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897
 in Cambridge Historical Reader—Primary

The Young Queen
 in Stories from English History, Part Third

Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort
 in The Hanoverians

The First Council of Queen Victoria
 in The Hanoverians

Queen Victoria
 in  The Story of the English

Queen Victoria
 in The Reign of Queen Victoria

Victoria Regina
 in The Reign of Queen Victoria

The Prince Consort
 in The Reign of Queen Victoria

Funeral Procession of Queen Victoria
 in The Reign of Queen Victoria
The Dutches of Kent and Princess Victoria
The Dutches of Kent and Princess Victoria
 in In the Days of Queen Victoria
The Princess Victoria at age eleven
The Princess Victoria at age eleven
 in In the Days of Queen Victoria

The Princess Victoria and her mother
 in In the Days of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria
 in In the Days of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria and her children.
 in In the Days of Queen Victoria
Her Majesty, Queen Victoria
Her Majesty, Queen Victoria
 in In the Days of Queen Victoria

Short Biography
Prince Albert Husband of Victoria, handled most administrative affairs of the monarchy.
Edward VII Reigned immediately after the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.
Alfred Tennyson Best known poet of he Victorian Age. Write Idylls of the King and many others.
Charles Dickens Prolific novelist of the Victorian Era. Wrote David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol and others.
Robert Peel Important Victorian Era British prime minister who oversaw several free market and political reforms.
Lord Melbourne Whig Prime Minister who advised the Queen during her early years.
Duke of Wellington Napoleonic war general who fought in Spain and Portugal. Defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.
William Gladstone Prime minister and member of the Liberal Party. Opponent of Disraeli.
Benjamin Disraeli Prime Minister, Author, and conservative rival of Gladstone.
John Brown Man-servant and companion of Victoria in the later years of her life.