Looking Back on History – Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Photo: Alexander Bassano

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Queen Victoria. We’ve all heard the name before, but why was she so important? As Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and the Empress of India, Queen Victoria is the second longest reigning female monarch. She reigned for 63 years, just under the current Queen Elizabeth II.

 “Her reign, the [second] longest in English history, saw advances in industry, science (Darwin’s theory of evolution), communications (the telegraph, popular press), and other forms of technology; the building of the railways and the London Underground, sewers, and power distribution networks; bridges and other engineering feats; a vast number of inventions; a greatly expanded empire; unequal growth of wealth, with class differences to the fore; tremendous poverty; increase in urban populations, with the growth of great cities like Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham; increased literacy; and great civic works, often funded by industrial philanthropists.”

Queen Victoria, History.com Staff

The great Queen Victoria was born on May 24, 1819 to the name of Alexandrina, which she was called by until the start of her reign in 1837 when she started using her middle name: Victoria. She became queen at just the age of 18 (1837) after being fifth in line to the throne, which was the result of her father’s death after her birth and the deaths of many other family members.

Three years later, in 1840, she married Price Albert. According to Jackie Middleton at Reader’s Digest, “After four years of friendship and flirtation, Queen Victoria proposed to her prince (actually, she had no choice—according to tradition, a man couldn’t propose to the queen).”

On account of her wedding day, Queen Victoria wrote in her diary:

“This day is one of the greatest and most glorious days of our lives, with which,
to my pride and joy the name of my dearly beloved Albert is forever
associated! It is a day which makes my heart swell with thankfulness…”

She and her husband had nine children together. Her husband died in 1861, and the queen went into a deep mournful state, staying secluded from the public, gaining the dislike of her followers. After a long while of persuasion, she continued “her public duties.”

Queen Victoria died in January of 1901, leaving her son Edward VII to take the royal throne.