17. Queen Victoria

Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the monarch of the United Kingdom of great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. Empress of India was her additional title from 1 May 1876.

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, 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.

She inherited the throne at the age of 18 after her father’s three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate issue.

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 a national icon, and was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

She married her first cousin Albert in 1840. Their nine children and 26 of her grand children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname “The grandmother of Europe”.

After Albert’s death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, Republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered.

Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration.

Her reign of 63 years and 7 months, is known as the was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

Victoria was physically unprepossessing—she was stout, dowdy and no more than five feet tall—but she succeeded in projecting a grand image.

Her long reign is known as Victorian Era.

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