Queen Victoria was the longest reigning monarch of Great Britain, only after the present Queen Elizabeth II, having ruled for 64 years from 1837 to 1901. She was the daughter of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. She lost her parents at a very young age. She was fifth in the line of succession and ascended the throne at the age of 18, when her brothers before her died without heirs.
Three years after becoming queen, Victoria married Prince Albert of Germany. Their nine children married the children of various nobles and royal families, including Russia, thus dubbing her the “Grandmother of Europe”.
She is associated with what is known to-day as the Queen Victoria Proclamation. This was issued on 01 January 1858, regarding the the Revolt of 1857 in most parts of northern and Deccan India. She received the title “Empress of India” in the year 1876.
Queen Victoria has also been credited with starting the tradition of white weddings and white bridal gowns when she selected a white gown for her wedding to Prince Albert. This was quickly carried on by wealthy brides and continues to this day.
Queen Victoria was a carrier of haemophilia. Haemophilia is a disease that prevents the clotting of blood even in the smallest of wounds. The queen, as a carrier, was not affected, but eventually, her future great-grandson, Alexei, heir to the throne of the Russian Empire, and the youngest son of the last Tsar Nicholas II, was haemophilic. Most often, it is women who carry this disease, so a male affected by it would be as a result of his mother being the carrier. In Alexei’s case, it was his mother, Tsarina Alexandra (granddaughter of Queen Victoria), who was the carrier.
Queen Victoria was so committed to her husband that, when Albert died in 1861, she became very depressed and reclusive, to the point of nearly abandoning her subjects. Nonetheless, she eventually managed to pull through and rule for the next 40 years. She was a such an influence in the British society that the period of reign is referred to as the “Victorian era“. Women and girls looked up to her for a lot of things. An entire set of social mannerisms has been attributed to her by historians to-day.
Images from History Extra and Town & Country Magazine.
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