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This month marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria. DAVID ADAMS looks at some facts and figures about the woman who became synonymous with the idea of a British Empire – and the 19th century…

This month marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria. Following are some facts and figures about the woman who became synonymous with the idea of a British Empire – and the 19th century…

Queen Victoria

The Queen in an official portrait taken for her Diamond Jubilee in 1893.

• Alexandrina Victoria was born on 24th May, 1819, in Kensington Palace in London. She was the daughter of the fourth son of King George III – Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn – and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Her early life was dominated by her mother and her mother’s advisor Sir John Conroy who imposed a strict code of discipline upon her which became known as the ‘Kensington System’.

• Victoria inherited the throne at the age of 18 on 20th June, 1837, after her father’s three elder brothers – King George IV, Frederick, Duke of York, and King William IV – all died, leaving no legitimate heirs. Her own father had died soon after her birth.

• Queen Victoria was crowned on 28th June, 1837, at Westminster Abbey, with more than 400,000 people attending the celebrations. But it wasn’t until  1876 that she took the title of Empress of India.

• She was the first sovereign to take up residence at Buckingham Palace.

• The Queen married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on 10th February, 1840, in the royal chapel at St James’s Palace in London. She had proposed to him during their second meeting, at Windsor, on 15th October, 1839.

• The Queen and Prince Albert had nine children together, including the future King Edward VII. She was devastated by the death of her husband Albert of typhoid fever on 14th December, 1861, and wore black for the remainder of her life as a result.

• There were no less than eight separate attempts made on her life during her reign, the first being by Edward Oxford who fired two pistols at a carriage containing the Queen and Prince Albert as they left Buckingham Palace on 10th June, 1840 (both shots missed).

• Queen Victoria died on 22nd January, 1901, at her property Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight and was buried beside her husband Prince Albert in the Frogmore Royal Mausoleum in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The last monarch of the House of Hanover (her son belonged to her husband’s House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), she was, at the time the longest serving British monarch was a reign of 63 years and seven months. Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her record in 2015. 

• The Queen’s reign included 10 different British Prime Ministers. She was also known as the “grandmother of Europe” – several of her children married into various European royal houses meaning her 42 grandchildren could be found in the royal families of Germany, Russia, Greece, Romania, Sweden, Norway and Spain. Key monarchs in World War I – King George V of Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Russia’s Tsarina Alexandra – were among them.



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