Queen Victoria Biography

The Queen

Queen Victoria was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until 1901; her reign lasted 63 years and she was the longest reigning monarch until 2016, when Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her. She was born in London to a German princess and English prince in 1819. She became queen at the age of 18, on the death of her uncle, William IV. She was educated by her governess, Louise Lehzen and the Reverend George Davys. She learned to speak and read German and French well. Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert in 1840, who encouraged science, trade and art. They had nine children, and made it clear they believed that a good family life and Christianity were very important.

In general, English people followed their example. In 1851, the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace was opened. It happened partly because of Albert's hard work. The exhibition featured the achievements of Britishpeople in the Victorian era. Queen Victoria had many houses around the country including Osborne House in the Isle of Wight; Sandringham House in Norfolk; Buckingham Palace in London; Balmoral Castle in Scotland and Windsor Castle. In 1861, Prince Albert died and Victoria began to keep away from public life; this made her less popular. During the years that followed, Britain became more powerful, and in 1877, Victoria was given the title "Empress of India". She became more popular with her people. In 1897, she had her Diamond Jubilee to celebrate 60 years of being on the throne.

Many of Victoria's children became monarchs, princes and princesses of other countries. Queen Victoria was always very interested in India, although she never went there. Queen Victoria enjoyed dancing, sketching, horse riding and singing; she was given lessons as a child by the famous opera singer Luigi LaBlache. She liked to paint and could play the piano. She kept a regular diary throughout her life.

Birth and family

Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children Carl and Feodora by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower. The Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, Victoria, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; Frederick, the Duke of York; William, the duke of Clarence; and Victoria's father, Edward, the Duke of Kent.


Though Victoria was now queen, as an unmarried young woman she was required by social convention to live with her mother, despite their differences over the Kensington System and her mother's continued reliance on Conroy. Her mother was consigned to a remote apartment in Buckingham Palace, and Victoria often refused to see her. When Victoria complained to Melbourne that her mother's close proximity promised "torment for many years", Melbourne sympathised but said it could be avoided by marriage, which Victoria called a "schocking alternative". She 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.

Attempted Murder to the Queen

During Victoria's first pregnancy in 1840, in the first few months of the marriage, Edward Oxford attempted to assassinate her while she was riding in a carriage with Prince Albert on her way to visit her mother. Oxford fired twice, but either both bullets missed or, as he later claimed, the guns had no shot.

Golden Jubilee

In 1887, the British Empire celebrated Victoria's Golden Jubilee. Victoria marked the fiftieth anniversary of her accession on 20 June with a banquet to which 50 kings and princes were invited. The following day, she participated in a procession and attended a thanksgiving service in Westminster Abbey. By this time, Victoria was once again extremely popular. Two days later on 23 June, she engaged two Indian Muslims as waiters, one of whom was Abdul Karim. He was soon promoted to "Munshi"

Diamond Jubilee

On 23 September 1896, Victoria surpassed her grandfather George III as the longest-reigning monarch in English, Scottish, and British history. The Queen requested that any special celebrations be delayed until 1897, to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee, which was made a festival of the British Empire at the suggestion of Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain. The prime ministers of all the self-governing dominions were invited to London for the festivities. 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, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany who, it was feared, might cause trouble at the event.

Death and Succession

Following a custom she maintained throughout her widowhood, Victoria spent the Christmas of 1900 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. Rheumatism in her legs had rendered her lame, and her eyesight was clouded by cataracts. Through early January, she felt "weak and unwell". She died on Tuesday, 22 January 1901, at half past six in the evening, at the age of 81. Her son and successor King Edward VII, and her eldest grandson, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, were at her deathbed. Her favourite pet Pomeranian, Turi, was laid upon her deathbed as a last request.

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