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domingo, 3 de junho de 2012

Queen Victoria

Princess Victoria was born at Kensington Palace on 24 May 1819.

Queen Victoria´s bedroom in Kensington Palace

During her childhood in Kensington Palace, Princess Victoria often played with her collection of over 130 tiny wooden dolls. She named all of her dolls, many of which are on display at Kensington Palace. Princess Victoria was a talented painter. These are some of her colourful paper dolls 

She began writing a daily journal in August 1832, aged thirteen. The many volumes of her journal, which cover nearly seventy years of her life, are held by the Royal Archives. Princess Victoria became heir to the throne as her uncles, King George IV and King William IV, had no surviving legitimate children. On 20 June 1837, William IV died and Victoria became Queen at the age of 18.

This picture by Sir George Hayter (1792-1871) depicts the Coronation of Queen Victoria at Westminster Abbey on 28 June 1838.

Queen Victoria first met Prince Albert, her cousin, in 1836, at the suggestion of her uncle King Leopold I of the Belgians, who felt they were suited to each other.

Two days before her wedding, Queen Victoria presented Prince Albert with this spectacular diamond-encrusted garter -It formed part of a set of Order of the Garter insignia, representing England's oldest chivalric order.

The Marriage Ceremony of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took place in the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, on 10 February 1840.

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73) in Royal Collection Trust.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children: Victoria, Princess Royal (born 1840); Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (born 1841); Alice (born 1843); Alfred (born 1844); Helena (born 1846); Louise (born 1848); Arthur (born 1850); Leopold (born 1853) and Beatrice (born 1857).

Osborne c. 1850-60 by Thomas Allom

"It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot" said Queen Victoria of Osborne House, her palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight.

Robert Taylor Pritchett (1828-1907)
Christening of Princess Victoria Eugénie of Battenberg at Balmoral, 23 November 1887 

Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

Princess Victoria Eugenie was the daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's youngest child, Princess Beatrice, and her husband, Prince Henry of Battenberg. Queen Victoria described the event in her journal: 'The sweet Baby looked beautiful in the old Christening Robe, in which all our children & so many grandchildren […] have been christened'.

Christmas was a special time for Queen Victoria and her family, and their celebrations included traditions familiar to us now, including decorated Christmas trees (a custom introduced by George III’s wife Queen Charlotte), the sending of Christmas cards, the exchange of Christmas presents, a lavish meal and gifts to the poor.

This painting by William Corden the Younger shows Queen Victoria’s Christmas tree at Windsor Castle in 1850.

Prince Albert died at Windsor Castle on December 14,1861 at the age of 42. His premature death was attributed to typhoid fever. Queen Victoria was overwhelmed by grief at the loss of her beloved husband and retreated from public view until the late 1860s. She remained in mourning, wearing only black, for the rest of her life.

This photograph was taken by Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria’s son, in March 1862. The image depicts the Queen and her daughter, Princess Alice, in mourning clothes, with a marble bust of Prince Albert.

This portrait, taken by the photographer Gustav Mullins, depicts Queen Victoria as she appeared on the day of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on 22 June 1897.
The reign of Queen Victoria is associated with the expansion of the British Empire, and by the time of her death in 1901 her empire amounted to more that one-fifth of the land surface of the Earth and almost a quarter of the world’s population. Extending from Asia to Canada and Africa to Australia, the British Empire was popularly called the "Empire on which the sun never sets". The Victoria era was a time of rapid change and development in all areas of British life. New inventions and advances in scientific and technological knowledge revolutionised industry, communications, transport, medicine and popular culture. In January 1878, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated his new invention, the telephone, to Queen Victoria at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

Much of the population of the towns and cities of Victorian Britain lived in poverty, forced to inhabit overcrowded and squalid buildings. In these slums, disease was common and life expectancy was low.


The Diamond Jubilee became the theme for many songs, poems and odes to Queen Victoria during the year 1897, such as this piece of music, ‘The Longest Reign’, composed by Ezra Read.

This photograph, taken at Osborne House in 1899 two years after her Diamond Jubilee, shows Queen Victoria with the three generations of her family who would succeed her as Sovereign.

The Prince of Wales, who is standing to the left of his mother, would become King Edward VII following her death in January 1901. His son, the Duke of York acceded, to the throne as King George V in 1910, and the young Prince Edward, shown here aged 5 years old, would become King Edward VIII in 1936.

Read: Queen Victoria and the age of photography

Queen Victoria´s Long Reign References:

Royal Archives

© HM Queen Elizabeth II 2012
Queen Victoria-Diamond Jubilee Scrapbook




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