Alexandrina Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1819 - 1901

portrait of Victoria
1887 photo by Alexander Bassano
Victoria signature
5609

Born: 24 May 1819, Kensington Palace, London, England, UK
Died: 22 January 1901, Osborne House, Isle of Wight, England, UK

Victoria's father died when she was eight months old, her mother and John Conroy devised the "Kensington System" to keep her dependant and in virtual isolation, seeing no one not carefully vetted. On the death of George IV in 1830 she became heir to the throne. A month after her 18th birthday, William IV died and she became Queen of the United Kingdom, surprising her counselors by dropping her first name within days. Britain and Hanover had shared a monarch since 1714 but Hanoverian law required male monarchs. As an unmarried woman she was required to live in her mother's household but as queen and the first monarch to live in Buckingham Palace she placed her mother's apartment in the most distant corner of the palace and routinely refused to see her. She married her cousin Albert of Saxe-Coberg and Gotha in the third year of her reign. Despite her negative comments about marriage, pregnancy, and babies they had nine children, most of whom were married into other European royal houses. Albert died in 1861 and Victoria wore black for the rest of her life, withdrawing from the public eye for the next decade to the distinct detriment of her popularity. With the dissolution of the British East India Company she became Empress of India from May of 1876. After Albert died Victoria spent Christmas at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight each year, it was there that she died from a cerebral haemorrhage. Her son Edward became king on her death, establishing the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which was renamed the House of Windsor. Victoria ruled longer than any other British monarch and longer than any other female monarch, under her rule the empire grew to the point where the sun never set on it. She also survived seven assassination attempts.

Her Majesty Elizabeth II put Victoria's journals online in May 2012. With over 43,000 pages of images and the early text transcribed, even though parts of this were rewritten and redacted by Victoria's daughter Beatrice, this is a great resource.

Biography from Wikipedia and the Crown

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