Queen of England
1819 – 1901
Queen Victoria is often considered England’s most noble queen. A mere list of the events and progressive movements of Victoria’s reign would fill many pages, for no similar period in the history of Europe has been filled with benefit to humanity.
Victoria was born in 1819 to Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg. Her father was the youngest son of George III and was sent to Hanover to be educated as a soldier. While there, Edward spent far too much money and incurred many debts. He returned to England without the permission of his father, and was then sent to Gibraltar and next to Canada, where he commanded the military forces of British America. Later he was made governor of Gibraltar and ruled as well.
When he was fifty years old he married Princess Louisa Victoria of Sax-Coburg, Queen Victoria’s mother. Believing that his child would some day be sovereign of England, Edward desired that his child be born in his native land. He had to go into heavy debt to secure the funds to make this move, but the couple returned to England and made their home at Kensigton Palace, where Victoria was born.
Her father died eight months after her birth and the training of Victoria was left entirely up to her mother. Therefore, the character of England’s queen was formed by her mother. Victoria receive an excellent education and her mother was almost her constant companion. She was taught to speak three languages, English, German, and French and she also became familiar with Latin, Italian, and Greek as well. Victory also was proficient in mathematics and the sciences.
Victoria became queen at the age of eighteen upon the death of her uncle William IV in 1837 and reigned until 1901, bestowing her name upon the time frame that she ruled; the Victorian Era. Two years after her coronation she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a nephew of her mothers. Albert soon became Victoria’s chief advisor and he remained the focal point of Victoria’s life, bearing him nine children. Theirs was an extremely happy union and their family was a model of home love and fidelity to all of England.
Albert died in 1861, leaving a desolate Victoria to live her life in a self-imposed seclusion for ten years. Thereafter she lived at Windsor or Balmoral, travelling abroad once a year, but making only a few public appearances in England.
Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, on January 22, 1901. She was as widely loved and honored in her life as she was in her death. The expressions of universal sorrow which her death called forth from all the civilized world showed how widely she was respected as both a woman and a queen.