Victoria of the United Kingdom

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Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she was the first Empress of India of the British Raj.

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke of Kent and the King died in 1820, and Victoria was raised under close supervision by her German-born mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She inherited the throne at the age of 18 after her father's three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate issue. She ascended the throne when the United Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy, in which the Sovereign held relatively few direct political powers. Privately, she attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Publicly, she became the iconic symbol of the nation and empire, and was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their 9 children and 42 grandchildren married into royal families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe".[1] After Albert's death in 1862, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the later half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration.

At 63 years and 7 months, her reign as the Queen lasted longer than that of any other British monarch, and is the longest of any female monarch in history. Her reign is known as the Victorian era, and was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military progress within the United Kingdom. It was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, which reached its zenith and became the foremost global power. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son and successor King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.


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