Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria was born in 1819 and she died in 1901. She was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837-1901) and empress of India (1876-1901). Queen Victoria was born Alexandrina Victoria on May 24, 1819, in Kensington Palace, London. Victoria's mother was Victoria Mary Louisa, daughter of the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Her father was Edward Augustus, duke of Kent and Strathern, the fourth son of George III and youngest brother of George IV and William IV, they were kings of Great Britain. Because William IV had no legal children, his niece Victoria became inheritor apparent to the British crown upon his accession in 1830. On June 20, 1837, with the expiration of William IV. Victoria became queen at the age of 18.

Early in her power Victoria developed a serious concern with goings on of state, guided by her first prime minister, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne was leader of that wing of the Whig Party that later became known as the Liberal Party. He exercised a immovably progressive command on the political thinking of the sovereign.

Marriage In 1840 Victoria married her first cousin, Albert, ruler of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who she had known for about four years. Although this was a wedlock of state, it was a highly extravagant and prosperous one, and Victoria was devoted to her family responsibilities. The first of their nine children was Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise, later queen of Germany. Their first son, Albert Edward, prince of Wales and later monarch of Great Britain as Edward VII, was born in 1841. When the cautious Prince Albert persuaded her that Liberal policy jeopardized the coming of the Crown, the queen began to lose her eagerness for the party. After 1841, when the Melbourne government fell and Sir Robert Peel became prime minister, Victoria was an enthusiastic supporter of the Conservative Party. Also under Albert's influence, she began to interrogation the tradition that restricted the British ruling to an advisory part. In 1850 she challenged the command of Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, alien secretary in the Whig government that had been in command since 1846. Her post was that the sovereign should at least be consulted on different policy. Palmerston, independent and self-assertive, disregarded the request. Their conflict reached a crucial period in 1851, when the prime minister, Lord John Russell, who was also unhappy with Palmerston's elective methods, removed him from the foreign office. Their altercations with Palmerston, one of the most liked political leaders in the country, caused Victoria and Albert to lose some of the regard of their subjects. Their popularity dwindled even more in 1854, when they tried to avert the Crimean War. After the war had started, however, they gave it their sincere support. In 1856, shortly before the end of the war, the queen established the Victoria Cross, the highest British award for wartime courage.

In 1857, Victoria had the title of prince associate granted on Albert. Four years later he died, and she remained in implied grieving for much of the rest of her life. She avoided common appearances, letting the prince of Wales accomplish most of the royal ritualistic duties. Her detailed personal interest in the affairs of state protracted, however.

Reign After 1861 Several prime ministers served during the latter part of Victoria's reign, but only the Conservative Party leader Benjamin Disraeli, who held office in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880, gained her confidence. He ingratiated himself with the queen by his skillful personal advance and his gift for compliments. He also allowed her a free hand in the awarding of church, army, and some political appointments. She fully affirmed his policy of strengthening and roaming the British Empire, and in 1876 Disraeli attained for her the title of empress of India. She seldom agreed with the brilliant leader of the Liberal Party, William E. Gladstone, who served as prime minister four times betwixt 1868 and 1894. Victoria unaccepted of the democratic reforms he distinct, such as abolishing the purchase of military commissions and legalizing trade unions, and his powerful intellectualized procedure of argument. She was also solidly opposed to his policy of home law for Ireland. The Conservative pilot Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, who served as prime minister three times between 1885 and 1902, more often found favor with the queen. Like Disraeli, he advocated protecting British interests and increasing British authority abroad.

British Idol Victoria's popularity among all classes in British society reached its prominence in the last two decades of her reign. Her golden gala in 1887 and her diamond jubilee in 1897 were occasions for great public rejoicing. Her subjects were then enjoying an unprecedented period of prosperous complacency, and her eager execution of the Boer War increased her appeal at home and abroad. Victoria died on January 22, 1901. Her 63-year reign was the longest in the archives of England. Her offspring, including 40 grandchildren, married into almost every royal family of Europe.

With her personal example of honesty, nationalism, and devotion to family life, Victoria became a living symbol of the solidity of the British Empire. The many years of her reign, often referred to as the Victorian age, witnessed the rise of the middle class and were marked by a deeply conservative morality and intense nationalism. Victoria's correspondence was published in three series, Letters, 1837-61 (3 vol., 1907), Letters, 1862-85 (3 vol., 1926-1928), and Letters, 1886-1901 (3 vol., 1930-32).