Published on July 14th, 2015 | by Sarah Jubb
During the height of the Industrial Revolution, a young princess took the throne and would later become one of the most influential monarchs in British history. Victoria was born in 1819, the granddaughter of King George III, and she ascended to the throne in 1837 as Queen Victoria, after her uncle’s all died with no legitimate heirs.
She was the first queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and would go on to reign for 63 years and seven months, becoming the longest reigning British monarch as well as the longest reigning female monarch in history. The era under which she ruled became known as the Victorian era and was filled with the expansion of the British Empire along with many great inventions and discoveries.
In 1840 Victoria married Prince Albert, her first cousin, in a marriage that was successful and loving. Albert was also an important and strong influence on Victoria and her rule. They had nine children, all of whom lived and most were married into other royal families in Europe. Her attachment to Albert is famous as his death in 1861 resulted in Victoria falling into a deep depression and she would wear black to mourn him for the rest of her life as well as pulling away from social life for a time.
A Great Empire
She also survived numerous assassination attempts throughout her life and was a very popular monarch amongst her people. Later she became more prominent again and became the Empress of India in 1877 after the East India Company transferred the government of India to the crown. By this time Britain had the largest empire in history, including countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia and many more, giving way to the phrase that the sun never sets on the British Empire.
The large empire that she ruled meant that she often became a symbol of it, and her popularity resulted in major milestones in her rule being widely celebrated in Britain. As such her Golden Jubilee to celebrate 50 years since her accession in 1887 and her Diamond Jubilee to celebrate 60 years in 1897 were given fantastic displays along with fancy public ceremonies to commemorate.
The Death of a Legacy
After a long rule, Victoria finally died in 1901 at the age of 81, having ruled over the United Kingdom and the British Empire for over a staggering 63 years. Her son succeeded her as King Edward VII, the first of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha that would eventually become the House of Windsor. Victoria was the last monarch to rule from the House of Hanover but she had left an indomitable mark on both British and global history.
She was interred besides Prince Albert at Windsor Great Park. There are many memorials to Victoria today, including the Victoria Memorial outside of Buckingham Palace. As well as this, there are many places named after her such as Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe and the states Victoria and Queensland in Australia.