I missed it by a day, but May 24th was the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth. She was born in 1819 in Kensington Palace, London, the only daughter of Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Victoria was born during the reign of her grandfather, George III. She was christened Alexandrina Victoria.
Her father was George III’s fourth son and–it turned out–that made Victoria an heir to the throne. Her older cousin Charlotte–the only legitimate heir to the throne, daughter of George the Prince Regent–had died in 1817 after childbirth. Her baby was stillborn, so once again, George III’s immediate heirs were his first four sons: George, Frederick, William, and Edward. George and Frederick were old and hated their wives. William had a ton of children from an invalid marriage, left his sort-of wife and kids, and like his brother Edward, found a German princess to marry. He and Edward married on the same day.
Edward died in January 1820. A week later, George III died and the Prince Regent became George IV.
|Victoria Duchess of Kent with a small Victoria|
Victoria was brought up very strictly in Kensington Palace, where there’s an exhibit about her childhood to coincide with the 200th year. She had a pretty lonely childhood and was very strictly controlled by her mother and her mother’s comptroller John Conroy.
As we know, she became queen in 1837 after her uncle King William died. She was 18. She later married her maternal first cousin Albert and they had nine children. She also bestowed her name on a long and change-filled era, married her children all over Europe, probably had a genetic mutation that caused hemophilia which she passed down all over the place thanks to her kids, was not amused, and wore black a lot after Albert’s death.
Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901.