Victoria, Queen of Great Britain


Victoria, Queen of Great Britain
(1819–1901)
   Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 until her death, Victoria was the central icon of the nineteenth-century British Empire. A granddaughter through one of the younger sons of George III, she inherited the throne at the age of 18 on the death of her uncle William IV. Raised in deliberate isolation from her scandal-ridden Hanoverian relatives, she was initially popular, and her tutors made a deliberate point of emphasizing her Englishness, in contradistinction to the German heritage of her ancestors. Although later in her reign Victoria acquired a reputation for being pro-Tory, she was initially influenced by her first prime minister, the Whig Lord Melbourne. Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg, to whom she was devoted, in 1840. Victoria had nine children, many of whom married into other royal families, with the result that by the end of her reign, she had some familial connection to most of the royal houses in Europe. Victoria’s eldest son became Edward VII. Albert’s death in 1861 plunged Victoria into a deep depression, from which she emerged only slowly and grudgingly. Her reluctance to perform her royal duties led to a brief republican movement in the early 1870s, led by among others Sir Charles Dilke.
   Victoria took a particular liking to the Tory prime minister of that decade, Benjamin Disraeli, a liking accentuated by the Royal Titles Act, making her Empress of India. She also developed, and failed entirely to dissemble, a dislike for William Gladstone; she was more comfortable with his successor, the Tory peer Lord Salisbury. Victoria fostered a close relationship between the crown and military, taking a close interest in the campaigns and in the welfare of the soldiery during the Crimean War and again during the Boer War of 1899–1902, and taking a personal part in the creation of the Victoria Cross during the former. Victoria did much to create the image of the royal family as an exemplar of bourgeois domesticity, notwithstanding the racier life led by her son, Edward VII. Victoria’s silver and diamond jubilees of 1887 and 1897 were celebrations not merely of her reign but of the empire. An imperial theme, complete with colorful displays and troops from around the empire, was deliberately chosen for the diamond jubilee of 1897. For a woman who lived through years of massive change, her name remains somewhat unfairly associated with old-fashioned prudery; her name is more accurately associated with imperial Britain at its height.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Charlot, Monica. Victoria: The Young Queen. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991;
    Weintraub, Stanley. Victoria: An Intimate Biography. New York: Dutton, 1987.
   MARK F. PROUDMAN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics — Infobox Olympics Great Britain games=2008 Summer competitors=311 (168 men, 143 women)cite web |title=All currently selected Team GB athletes |publisher=British Olympic Association |url=http://www.olympics.org.uk/beijing2008/TeamGB.aspx… …   Wikipedia

  • George II of Great Britain — George II Portrait by Thomas Hudson, 1744 King of Great Britain and Ireland (more...) Reign 11 …   Wikipedia

  • Princess Mary of Great Britain — For other persons known as Princess Mary, see Princess Mary (disambiguation). Princess Mary Landgravine of Hesse Kassel by Johann Heinrich Tischbein Tenure 1 Febru …   Wikipedia

  • George I of Great Britain — George I George I, c. 1714. Studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller. King of Great Britain and Ireland (more...) …   Wikipedia

  • Railway electrification in Great Britain — describes the past and present electrification systems used to supply traction current to railways and tramways in Great Britain with a chronological record of development, a list of lines using each system, and a history and a technical… …   Wikipedia

  • Cremation Society of Great Britain — The Cremation Society of Great Britain is an special interest organisation that advocates cremation in the United Kingdom. Contents 1 History 1.1 The beginnings 1.2 The first crematorium …   Wikipedia

  • Cultural depictions of Anne of Great Britain — Anne, Queen of Great Britain, is depicted in novels, film and television. She was played by Margaret Tyzack in the 1969 BBC TV drama series The First Churchills, which depicted Queen Anne s life from her childhood to her death, in the context of… …   Wikipedia

  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland — Infobox Former Country native name = conventional long name = United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland common name = United Kingdom continent = Europe region = British Isles country = United Kingdom status = State union year start = 1801 year… …   Wikipedia

  • Postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain — This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Great Britain. The postal history of Great Britain is notable in at least two respects; first, for the introduction of postage stamps in 1840, and secondly for the establishment of an… …   Wikipedia

  • Albert, prince consort of Great Britain and Ireland — orig. Franz Albrecht August Karl Emanuel, prince von Sachsen Coburg Gotha born Aug. 26, 1819, Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg, Saxe Coburg Gotha died Dec. 14, 1861, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, Eng. Prince consort of Queen Victoria of Britain and… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.