Queen Victoria


Born: May 24, 1819 in Kensington Palace, London
Died: Jan 22, 1901 (at age 81) in Osborne House, Isle of Wight
Nationality: British
Famous For: Queen of the UK for 64 years

Queen Victoria had the longest reign of any British Monarch. She ruled the United Kingdom for about 64 years. During her reign, Great Britain became a very powerful industrial nation and boasted an empire that stretched across the globe.

Early Life

Victoria was born at Kensington Palace on May 24, 1819. Her parents were Edward the Duke of Kenta and Princess Victoria the German princess. Despite being born into royalty, Victoria did not grow up surrounded by wealth. Her father’s spendthrift ways had left him with many debts. In an effort to reduce their expenses, her family moved to a modest home.

Shortly after this, Edward became ill and died on March 23, 1820. Six days later, the King died, making Victoria the third in line to the throne behind her two uncles who never had heirs.

Ascending to be the Queen

Prince Leopold agreed to pay for Victoria’s education and upbringing. Tutors were hired to teach her history, drawing, mathematics and language. Since her mother was German, Victoria had to learn English and French as her other languages. In 1827, her uncle died, placing her one step closer to the throne. On June 20, 1837, one month after Victoria turned 18, King William died, making Victoria the new Queen of England.

Leadership as a Young Queen

After assuming the throne, Queen Victoria moved to Buckingham Palace where she began her work of ruling the nation. The public and the prime minister liked the new queen, who seemed much easier to please than her predecessors. Leopold, Victoria’s uncle, introduced Prince Albert to the queen. The two were married on February 10, 1840.

Royal Offspring

Queen Victoria and her husband had their first child, Princess Victoria, in November of 1840. A year later, she gave birth to a male heir, Albert. Between 1843 and 1857, the queen had seven more children. All the children survived to adulthood; this was a rare scenario since many children never survived infancy.

Prince Albert enjoyed being a father and Queen Victoria greatly relied on him for advice. In July of 1840, Parliament appointed him regent. As a regent, he was in charge of the heir if the queen was to die during childbirth.

Dealing with War and Rebellion

The British became involved in the Crimean War between 1845 and 1856. Most of the fighting took place in the Russian-held Crimea where a bitter cold killed many people as battle wounds. The queen was compelled to help and she visited the soldiers in hospitals. She even wrote letters of condolence to war widows.

The appearance of the British in India stirred a great rebellion of Indian soldiers in 1857. This rebellion resulted in the deaths of hundreds of European civilians. The rebellion was subdued by British troops and India came under the control of the Crown of England.

On December 14, 1861, Prince Albert died from stomach cancer. Queen Victoria became a widow at only 42. She was very devastated and even avoided public events and foreign visitors. She mourned her husband for more than three years.

Later Years and Death

Over the years, the queen regained her popularity by trying to attend public functions and getting involved in other charitable issues. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1847, marking 60 years as monarch. Queen Victoria died of a stroke on January 22, 1901, at the age of 81. She was succeeded by her eldest son, Elbert.