Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) from 20 June 1837 until her death.
- From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India.
- Victoria’s father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III.
- The Duchess of Kent, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, was a German princess whose brother Leopold was the widower of Princess Charlotte of Wales.
- Until 1819 Charlotte was the only legitimate grandchild of George III.
Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis in the United Kingdom that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent to marry and have children.
- He married the Duchess in 1818, and their only child Victoria was born at 4.15 am on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London.
- The Prince Regent was estranged from his wife and the Duchess of York was 52 years old, so the two eldest brothers were unlikely to have any further children.
- The Dukes of Kent and Clarence married on the same day 12 months before Victoria’s birth, but both of Clarence’s daughters (born in 1819 and 1820 respectively) died as infants. Victoria’s grandfather and father died in 1820, within a week of each other, and the Duke of York died in 1827.
On the death of her uncle George IV in 1830, she became heiress presumptive to her next surviving uncle, William IV.
- The Regency Act 1830 made special provision for the Duchess of Kent to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor.
King William distrusted the Duchess’s capacity to be regent, and in 1836 declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria’s 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided.
- Political events in the second half of Victoria’s reign were dominated by two men, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone. One she liked one she disliked, explore the policies and events under each of these two Prime Ministers in our Leadership and Politics theme and in our Personalities and People theme
To find out more about the scientific advances being made when your ancestors were alive, follow the theme Science and Innovation
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