Queen VIctoria

From 20 June 1837 until her passing on 22 January 1901, Victoria ruled the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Victorian era is named after her long 63-years and 7-month reign, which was the longest of any previous British ruler. Within the United Kingdom, it was a period of significant industrial, political, scientific, and military development, and the British Empire expanded during this time. She received the extra title of Empress of India in 1876.

Victoria was the daughter of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, King George III's fourth son. Victoria's father, Edward, Duke of Kent, the Prince Regent (later George IV), Frederick, Duke of York, William, Duke of Clarence (later William IV), and Victoria were the four eldest sons of George III. Victoria was born at number five in the line of succession. The two eldest brothers were unlikely to have any more legitimate offspring because neither the Duke of York nor the Prince Regent had any living children, and both were alienated from their spouses, who were both past childbearing age. William and Edward got married on the same day in 1818, but both of William's biological daughters passed away when they were quite little. The first of these was Princess Charlotte, who was born on 27 March 1819 and passed away two months later, on 27 March 1819. Victoria became third in line to the throne after Frederick and William a week after her grandfather passed away and was succeeded by his eldest son, George IV. Victoria was fourth in line during the twelve-week life of Princess Elizabeth of Clarence, William's second daughter. He lived from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821.

The kingdom passed to their only living brother, William, and Victoria assumed the role of heir apparent after the deaths of the Duke of York and George IV in 1827 and 1830, respectively. In the event that William passed away while Victoria was still a juvenile, the Regency Act of 1830 created particular provisions for Victoria's mother to serve as regent. However, as he had doubts about the Duchess' ability to serve as regent, King William said in her presence in 1836 that he hoped to survive until Victoria became 18 to prevent a regency.

Friedrich III, the German Emperor, married Victoria Princess Royal (born 1840). Alice (born 1843) wed the Grand Duke of Hesse and Rhine Ludwig IV. Helena, who was born in 1846, wed Schleswig-Holstein native Christian. The 9th Duke of Argyll, John Campbell, married Louise (born 1848). Finally, Henry of Battenberg married Beatrice (born 1857).

Victoria purchased Osborne House on the Isle of Wight as a family residence in 1845, while Albert acquired Balmoral in 1852. Osborne House was later donated to the country by Edward VII.

After her husband died in 1861 at the age of 42, Victoria fell into a profound despair. She had lost a loving husband and her top confidant in matters of state. As a result, she wore all black for the remainder of her rule.

She didn't make many public appearances until the late 1860s; even though she never disregarded her official correspondence and continued to host audiences for her ministers and dignitaries, she was hesitant to resume a full public life.

She was persuaded to inaugurate Parliament in 1866 and 1867 personally, but she received harsh criticism for her solitary lifestyle, and a sizable republican movement emerged as a result.

Between 1840 and 1882, Victoria had seven attempts on her life; her valiant response to these assaults significantly increased her popularity.

The Queen eventually resumed her public duties over time thanks to the private nudges of her family and the flattering attention of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister, in 1868 and from 1874 until 1880.

During the middle of her reign, the Queen's power was employed to promote peace and reconciliation on the international stage. As a result of Victoria's pressure on her ministers to refrain from intervening in the Prussian-Danish War in 1864 and her 1875 letter to the German Emperor (whose son had wed her daughter), a second Franco-German war was avoided.

Victoria (unlike Gladstone) believed that Britain should uphold Turkish hegemony as a bulwark of stability against Russia and maintain bipartisanship at a time when Britain could be involved in a war. The Eastern Question in the 1870s concerned Britain's policy towards the declining Turkish Empire in Europe.

As imperial feeling expanded from the 1870s onward, Victoria's popularity increased. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the East India Company lost control of India to the Crown, and the Governor General's title was changed to Viceroy. As a result, Victoria has crowned Empress of India in 1877 thanks to the Royal Titles Act, which Disraeli's administration approved.

Direct political power shifted away from the ruler during Victoria's protracted reign. Several Acts widened the social and economic makeup of the electorate.

These acts included the Second Reform Act of 1867; the introduction of the secret ballot in 1872, which made it impossible to exert pressure on voters through bribery or intimidation; and the Representation of the Peoples Act of 1884, which granted the right to vote to all householders and lodgers in accommodation worth at least £10 per year, as well as landowners worth £10 per year.

Despite this fall in the Sovereign's power, Victoria demonstrated that a monarch with a high level of prestige and a willingness to learn the complexities of political life might wield significant influence.

Her mediation between the Commons and the Lords during the contentious passage of the Irish Church Disestablishment Act of 1869 and the 1884 Reform Act was evidence of this.

During the reign of Queen Victoria, the modern concept of the constitutional monarch, whose function was to remain above political parties, began to develop. Victoria, however, was not always apolitical, and she frequently expressed her thoughts in private in a very powerful manner.

With the passage of the Second Reform Act of 1867 and the expansion of the two-party (Liberal and Conservative) system, the Queen's room for manoeuvre shrunk. As a result, her ability to determine who should serve as prime minister was increasingly constrained.

In 1880, she unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the election of William Gladstone, whom she despised as much as she admired Disraeli and whose policies she distrusted. Instead, she considerably favoured the Marquess of Hartington, an additional statesman from the recently victorious Liberal party. She was not successful.

She was an ardent supporter of the British Empire, which drew her closer to Disraeli and the Marquess of Salisbury, her final Prime Minister.

On social matters, she tended to favour efforts to better the situation of the poor, such as the Royal Commission on Housing, despite being in other ways conservative. For example, she opposed granting women the right to vote at the time, like many others. In addition, she funded numerous organisations concerned with education, hospitals, and other fields.

She became the icon of the British Empire in her senior years. Both the Golden (1887) and Diamond (1897) Jubilees, commemorating the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the Queen's accession, were celebrated with spectacular displays and public festivities. Colonial Conferences attended by the Prime Ministers of the self-governing colonies were convened on both occasions.

Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight on 22 January 1901, having reigned for over 64 years, the longest in British history at the time. Edward VII, her son, succeeded her.