Queen Victoria Biography POSITIVE THINGS

Queen Victoria Biography

Short Biography of Queen Victoria (1819 –1901)

Queen Victoria was born 24 May 1819. She was the granddaughter of George III, and her father, Edward was fourth in line to the throne. But when the prince of Wales died early, his brothers sought to get married and maintain the line of succession.

Edward married Princess Victoria from Germany, and the couple had just one child, Alexandrina Victoria, who was born at Kensington Palace in 1819. As a young girl, Victoria’s father died, followed six days later by King George III. The throne then passed to  King William IV, but, he too died early. This left Victoria to be crowned at the age of 18, in June 1837. Queen Victoria was to reign until her death on 22nd January 1901.

Queen Victoria and Nineteenth-Century Britain

The 19th Century was a time of unprecedented expansion for Britain in term of both of industry and Empire. Although her popularity ebbed and flowed during her reign, towards the end of her crown, she had become a symbol of British imperialism and pride.

The Victorian period also witnessed great advances in science and technology. It became known as the steam age, enabling people to easily travel throughout the UK and the World.

Queen Victoria was emblematic of this period. She was an enthusiastic supporter of the British Empire. She celebrated at Lord Kitchener’s victory in the Sudan; she supported British involvement in the Boer War. She was also happy to preside over the expansion of the British Empire, which was to stretch across the globe. In 1877 Queen Victoria was made Empress of India, in a move instigated by the imperialist Disraeli. Famously, at the end of the Victorian period, people could say ‘the sun never set on the British Empire.’

Queen Victoria was conservative in her politics and social views. This led to an unfortunate episode. When she saw a servant who appeared to be pregnant, Victoria claimed she was having an affair. The Queen actually made her take a test to prove she was a virgin. The test was positive and the growth in her stomach was actually a form of cancer; a few months later the servant died, and Queen Victoria suffered a decline in her popularity as a result of this episode.

In the early part of her reign, she became a close friend and confident of the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne. She spent many hours talking to him and relied on his political advice. Lord Melbourne was a Whig, with conservative attitudes. He tried to shield Queen Victoria from the extreme poverty that was endemic in parts of the UK.

Queen Victoria was also highly devoted to her husband, Prince Albert; together they had nine children. When Prince Albert died in 1861, at the age of 41, Queen Victoria went into deep mourning and struggled to overcome this loss. She became reclusive and was reluctant to appear in public. Parliament and Benjamin Disraeli had to use all their persuasive power to get her to open parliament in 1866 and 1867. Her hiding from the public led to a decline in popularity. However, by the end of her reign, her popularity was restored. This was partly due to the rise of Great Britain as the leading superpower of the era.

For various reasons, several attempts were made on the life of Queen Victoria. These were mostly between 1840 and 1882. She was always unharmed, but her courageous attitude helped to endear her to the public.

Queen Victoria was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to 1901 — the second longest reign of any other British monarch in history.

Who Was Queen Victoria?

Queen Victoria served as queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837, and as empress of India from 1877, until her death in 1901. She is the second-longest reigning British monarch after Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria's reign saw great cultural expansion; advances in industry, science and communications; and the building of railways and the London Underground.

15th February 1892: A smiling Queen Victoria in an open coach. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

In 1840, Queen Victoria married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the son of her mom’s brother. The couple met when Victoria was just 16; their uncle Leopold suggested they marry. Since Victoria was queen, Albert couldn’t propose to her. So she proposed to him on October 15, 1839.

At first, the British public didn’t warm up to the German prince and he was excluded from holding any official political position. At times their marriage was tempestuous, a clash of wills between two extremely strong personalities. However, the couple were intensely devoted to each other. Prince Albert became Queen Victoria’s strongest ally, helping her navigate difficult political waters.

After several years of suffering from stomach ailments, Victoria's beloved Prince Albert died of typhoid fever in 1861 at the age of 42. Victoria was devastated, sleeping with a plaster cast of his hand by her side, and went into a 25-year seclusion.

Queen Victoria’s Children

Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert had nine children together:

  • Princess Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise (1840-1901), who married the future emperor of Germany Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia in 1858. On his death three months after taking the throne, their eldest son became Wilhelm II of Germany.
  • Prince Albert Edward Wettin (1841-1910), who succeeded his mother to the crown as King Edward VII in 1901.
  • Princess Alice Maude Mary (1843-1878), whose daughter Alix married Nicholas II, the last Russian tzar.
  • Prince Alfred Ernest Albert (1844-1900), who married the daughter of Tzar Alexander II of Russia. His oldest daughter, Marie, wed the crown Prince of Romania.
  • Princess Helena Augusta Victoria (1846-1923)
  • Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939) created quite a scandal when she married a commoner, John Douglas Sutherland Campbell (later the Duke of Argyll).
  • Prince Arthur William Patrick (1850-1942), who married Princess Louise Margarete of Prussia.
  • Prince Leopold George Duncan (1853-1884)
  • Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria (1857-1944)

Queen Victoria and John Brown

John Brown was Queen Victoria’s Scottish servant and one of her closest friends, with some suggestions that the two may have been lovers. Seven years her junior and many ranks below her, the queen said Brown was her dearest friend — an unthinkable relationship at the time. He became known as “the queen’s stallion” in the royal household and pledged his lifelong loyalty to her.

While there has been rumors that John Brown and Queen Victoria were lovers, especially after the death of Prince Albert, historians have parsed through her journals — which were edited by her daughter Beatrice — and haven’t found any evidence of an affair. But one thing is clear: She loved him. When Brown died, Victoria told his sister-in-law that he was the “best, the truest heart that ever beat.”

Queen Victoria’s Height

Despite her feisty temperament, Queen Victoria was famously tiny in stature, measuring just 4 feet 11 inches tall. Later in life, her weight ballooned, with her waist reportedly measuring 50 inches.

Father and Mother

Queen Victoria was the only child of Edward, the duke of Kent and King George III's fourth son. Her mother was Victoria Saxe-Saalfield-Coburg, sister of Leopold, king of the Belgians.

Early Life and Education

Born Alexandrina Victoria on May 24, 1819, Queen Victoria’s father died when she was eight months old, and her mother became a domineering influence in her life. As a child, she was said to be warm-hearted and lively. Educated at the Royal Palace by a governess, she had a gift for drawing and painting and developed a passion for journal writing.


At birth, Victoria was fifth in line to the throne. However upon her father’s death in 1820, Victoria became the heir apparent, since her three surviving uncles — who were ahead of her in succession — had no legitimate heirs who survived childhood. When King William IV, Victoria’s uncle and successor to George III, died in June 1837, Victoria became queen at the very young age of 18.

Lord Melbourne

Lord Melbourne was Queen Victoria’s first prime minister, serving from July 16 to November 14, 1834, and from April 18, 1835, to August 30, 1841. Melbourne was the queen’s political advisor and confidant during the early years of her reign. When she first took the crown at the young age of 18, he helped teach her the intricacies of being a constitutional monarch.

In 1840, when Great Britain was fighting wars with Afghanistan and China and facing a working-class movement, Melbourne helped the queen work with an uncooperative Conservative government and suggested she let her husband, Albert, take the reigns of state responsibilities.

Victorian England, the Victorian Era

Life in Britain during the 19th century was known as Victorian England because of Queen Victoria’s long reign and the indelible stamp it and her persona placed on the country. Her strict ethics and personality have become synonymous with the era.

Reign During the Industrial Revolution

Under Queen Victoria's reign, Great Britain experienced unprecedented expansion in industry, building railways, bridges, underground sewers and power distribution networks throughout much of the empire. There were advances in science (Charles Darwin's theory of evolution) and technology (the telegraph and popular press), with vast numbers of inventions; tremendous wealth and poverty; growth of great cities like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham; increased literacy; and great civic works, often funded by industrial philanthropists.

During Queen Victoria’s reign, Britain expanded its imperial reach, doubling in size and encompassing Canada, Australia, India and various possessions in Africa and the South Pacific. The Queen was emblematic of the time: an enthusiastic supporter of the British Empire, which stretched across the globe and earned the adage: “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”

At various points in her reign, Queen Victoria exercised some influence over foreign affairs, expressing her preference, but not pressing beyond the bounds of constitutional propriety. During this time, the British Empire experienced only a few small wars, exerting its authority over foreign possessions.

One of the major factors that helped Britain avoid European entanglements was the marriage of Victoria's children: either directly or by marriage, she was related to the royal houses of nearly every major European power, with the exceptions of France and Spain. Though the English constitutional arrangement denied her powers in foreign affairs, she ruled her family with an iron hand that helped keep Great Britain away from the intrigues of European politics.

During Queen Victoria’s reign, British Parliamentary politics went through a major transition. The Tory Party split, forming the Liberal and Conservative parties, and started a succession of opposing administrations. Victoria played a crucial role as mediator between arriving and departing prime ministers. Though she detested Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone, she found ways to work with him, even during her mourning period. She was particularly fond of Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who linked the Monarchy to the expansion of the empire, which helped restore public opinion following Queen Victoria’s long seclusion after the death of her beloved husband Albert.

Victoria continued in her duties up to her death. In keeping with tradition, she spent the Christmas of 1900 at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, where her health quickly declined to the point that she was unable to return to London.

When Did Queen Victoria Die?

Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901, at the age of 81. Her son, the future King Edward VII and her eldest grandson, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, were both at her bedside.

Who Succeeded Queen Victoria?

King Edward VII, Queen Victoria’s son, succeeded her to the British throne. 


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