Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom

Queen Regnant of the United Kingdom

Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent was born on May 24th 1819 to the parents Prince Edward the Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Her paternal grandparents were King George III and Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom (Queen Charlotte did not live to see Victoria). Although her first name was Alexandrina, she was commonly known as Victoria and used the name Victoria when she became Queen. Victoria already had an elder half brother (Carl the 3rd Prince of Leinigen) and sister (Princess Feodora of Leinigen) from her mother's previous marriage to the late Emich Carl the 2nd Prince of Leinigen. Victoria's childhood was strictly controlled by her mother, which was called the "Kensington System". 

At the time of her birth, Victoria was fifth in line to the succession of the throne, behind her uncles Prince George the Prince Regent (later George IV), Prince Frederick the Duke of York, Prince William (later William IV) and her father, Prince Edward. Victoria's uncle George the Prince Regent, acted as a Regent of the country from 1811-1820 while Victoria's grandfather King George III's mental heath was declining. In 1820 King George III died and the Prince Regent, George was now King George IV. King George IV had one daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales, through his unhappy marriage with Princess Caroline the Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Princess Charlotte was supposed to succeed George IV as Queen of the United Kingdom when he died, but Princess Charlotte died in 1817 while giving birth to a stillborn son. Prince Frederick the Duke of York, who was now second in line to the throne had died in 1827 and his marriage was childless and the next heir to the throne was George IV's third brother, Prince William. Prince William had 10 illegitimate children with Dorothea Bland and they could not inherit the throne since their father and mother were not married. In 1818, Prince William married Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. The marriage produced many miscarriages and two daughters, both of them which died at the age of under one. After King George IV died in 1830, Prince William became King William IV. The young Princess Victoria was now the heir to the throne, as her father Prince Edward died in 1820 a few short days before her grandfather King George III. In case King William died before Victoria turned 18, her mother Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld would have become Regent. In 1837, just after a month after Victoria's 18th birthday, King William IV died. Victoria was now Queen of the United Kingdom.

On February 10th 1840, Queen Victoria married her first cousin with whom she was deeply in love with, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in St. James Palace, London. Their marriage was a success and on November 21st 1840, Queen Victoria gave birth to her first child, Princess Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. The new born daughter was heiress presumptive to the throne of the United Kingdom from 1840-1841. Princess Victoria was given the title of Princess Royal in 1841, a title which is given to the eldest or only daughter of a sovereign of the United Kingdom. There can be only one Princess Royal at a time and this title was last held by Princess Victoria's paternal great aunt, Charlotte the Princess Royal, Queen of Wurttemberg who died in 1828. The title was vacant for 12 years before Queen Victoria gave the title to Princess Victoria at the young age of almost 2 months. On November 9th 1841 Queen Victoria gave birth to her first son and second child, Albert Edward the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII). On April 25th 1843 Queen Victoria gave birth to her third child and second daughter, The Princess Alice Maud Mary. On August 6th 1844 The Prince Alfred Ernest Albert was born to Queen Victoria as her second son and fourth child. The Princess Helena Augusta Victoria was born on May 25th 1846 as Queen Victoria's third daughter and fifth child. The Princess Louise Caroline Alberta was born on March 18th 1848 as Queen Victoria's fourth daughter and sixth child. The Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert was born on May 1st 1850 as Queen Victoria's seventh child and third son. The Prince Leopold George Duncan Albert was born on April 7th 1853 as Queen Victoria's eighth child and fourth son. Finally, the last child out of nine and last daughter of five to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was born on April 14th 1857 as The Princess Beatrice Mary Feodore. Queen Victoria hated babies, being pregnant, thought breast feeding was a disgust, and thought new born babies were ugly. Yet, she had nine children.

Queen Victoria made Prince Albert her Prince Consort of the United Kingdom in 1857. In December of 1861, Albert died after years of sickness and Queen Victoria was devastated by the news and went into a intense stage of mourning that continued throughout the rest of her life. Victoria had rarely took on Royal Engagements or Appearances in the following years. She also wore black until the day she died. Queen Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld had died in March of 1861 as well. Victoria was devastated that she had lost her beloved Consort, Albert and her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld after she found out her mother deeply loved Victoria, even though she was harsh at raising her.

In January of 1858, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria's eldest child, Victoria the Princess Royal, married Prince William Frederick of Prussia, who was second in line to the German and Prussian throne. In 1961, after Prince William Frederick's father became King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany, Prince William Frederick became the Crown Prince of Prussia and therefore Princess Victoria became the Crown Princess. In 1859, Princess Victoria gave birth to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's first grandchild, Frederick William Victor Albert of Prussia, who later became King William II of Prussia and Emperor of Germany until the monarchy was abolished after the First World War in 1918. In 1860, Princess Victoria gave birth to her second child, Princess Viktoria Elisabeth Auguste Charlotte of Prussia (Princess Charlotte of Prussia). In 1862, Prince Albert Wilhem Heinrich of Prussia (Prince Henry) was born to Princess Victoria as her third child. In 1864, Prince Franz Friedrich Sigismund of Prussia (Prince Sigismund) was born as Princess Victoria's fourth child. Prince Sigismund only lived one and a half years. In 1866, Princess Friederike Amalia Wilhelmine Viktoria of Prussia (Princess Viktoria) was born as Princess Victoria's fifth child. Prince Joachim Friedrich Ernst Waldemar of Prussia (Prince Waldemar) was born as Princess Victoria's sixth child. Prince Waldemar lived to the age of only eleven. Princess Sophie Dorothea Ulrike Alice of Prussia was born in 1870 as Princess Victoria's seventh child; she was popularly known as Queen Sophia of the Hellenes after her marriage. Princess Margarete Beatrice Feodoraof Prussia (Princess Margaret) was born in 1872 as Princess Victoria's eighth and last child. The Princess Royal became the German Empress and Queen Consort of Prussia in 1888 for 99 days before the death of her husband. Princess Victoria died in 1901 just months after her mother, Queen Victoria at the age of 60 of breast cancer.

Prince Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's second child and first son married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in March of 1963. Princess Alexandra became the Princess of Wales. The marriage produced six children, five of which survived childhood. In 1864, Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward of Wales was born to the Prince and Princess of Wales as their first child. Prince Albert Victor was supposed to succeed his father to the throne after he died, but that was cut short when Prince Albert Victor died in 1892. Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert of Wales was born in 1865 as the Prince and Princess of Wales's second child. Prince George eventually succeeded his father as King George V in 1910. Princess Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar of Wales, the Princess Royal was born in 1867 as the Prince and Princess of Wales's third child and first daughter.
In 1868, Princess Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary of Wales was born as the Prince and Princess of Wales's fourth child and second daughter. Princess Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria of Wales was born in 1869 as the Prince and Princess of Wales's fifth child and third daughter. After Princess Maud's marriage, she became Queen Consort Maud of Norway. In 1871, the Prince and Princess of Wales had their last child, Prince Alexander John of Wales, who was born prematurely. Prince Alexander died the next day on April 7. In 1901 after Queen Victoria died, the old Prince Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales became King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. After a short reign, King Edward died in 1910 and his second son, who was at the time the eldest, became King George V. In the picture below, is King Edward VII and Queen Consort Alexandra of the United Kingdom with their surviving five children. King Edward and Queen Alexandra had been Prince and Princess of Wales for longer than any of their predecessors.

In 1862, Queen Victoria's third child and second daughter married Prince Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. The couple had seven children. Princess Victoria Alberta Elisabeth Mathilde Marie of Hesse and by Rhine was born in 1863 as Princess Alice's first child. Princess Elisabeth Alexandra Louise Alice of Hesse and by Rhine was born in 1864 as Princess Alice's second child. Princess Irene Luise Maria Anna of Hesse and by Rhine was born in 1866 as Princess Alice's third child. Prince Ernest Louis Charles Albert William of Hesse and by Rhine (later Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine) was born in 1868 as Princess Alice's fourth child. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm August Victor Leopold Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine was born in 1870 as Princess Alice's fifth child. He survived until the age of two. Princess Alice Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice of Hesse and by Rhine (Empress Consort Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova of Russia) was born in 1872 as Princess Alice's sixth child. Princess Marie Viktoria Feodore Leopoldine of Hesse and by Rhine was born in 1874 as Princess Alice's seventh and last child. Princess Marie died at the age of four of diphtheria. Her mother, Princess Alice, died from the same disease a couple weeks later in 1878.

Prince Alfred the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl of Ulster and Kent, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, married Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia in 1874. The marriage produced five children. The first born was Prince Alfred Alexander William Ernest Albert of Edinburgh, the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1874. Princess Marie Alexandra Victoria of Edinburgh was born in 1875. She was known as Queen Marie of Romania after her marriage. Princess Alexandra Louise Olga Victoria of Edinburgh was born in 1878. The last child of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Grand Duchess was Princess Beatrice Leopoldine Victoria of Edinburgh in 1884. In 1893, Prince Alfred was created the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, after being the Duke of Edinburgh for over 29 years. In 1900, Prince Alfred the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha died.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's fifth child, Princess Helena, who became Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein after marriage, married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein with whom she had six children. Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein was born in 1867, Prince Albert John Charles Frederick Arthur George of Schleswig-Holstein who later became the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein was born in 1869. Princess Helena and Prince Christian's first daughter and third child, Princess Victoria Louise Sophia Augusta Amelia Helena (known popularly as Princess  Victoria) of Schleswig-Holstein was born in 1870, along with her sister Princess Franziska Josepha Louise Augusta Marie Christina Helena (known popularly as Princess Marie Louise) of Schleswig-Holstein in 1872. The Schleswig-Holstein's last two children were sons. Prince Frederick Harold was born in 1876, and died eight days after birth. An un-named stillborn son was born in 1877. Princess Helena died in 1923.

Princess Louise, sixth child of Queen Victoria married John Campbell the Duke of Argyll and Marquess of Lorne. Princess Louise became Duchess of Argyll and Marchioness of Lorne by marriage when she married John in 1871. The couple never had any children. Princess Louise did become Viceregal consort of Canada when the Duke of Argyll and Marquess of Lorne became the Governor General of Canada in 1878. The Country of Canada had a province named after the Viceregal Consort in 1905, as her full name was Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the province was named Alberta. There was also a lake in the province named Lake Louise, a village named Caroline, and a mount named Mount Alberta for Princess Louise. Princess Louise passed away in 1939, and is now buried in Frogmore, Windsor.

Prince Arthur the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, seventh child of Queen Victoria, married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia in 1879. The couple bore three children, Princess Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah of Connaught in 1882, who was known as the Crown Princess of Sweden by marriage. She did not live to reign as Queen Consort of Sweden with her husband. The second child of Princess Arthur and Princess Louise Margaret was Prince Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert of Connaught who was born in 1883. The couple's last child was Princess Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth of Connaught was born in 1886. Prince Arthur served as the 10th Governor General of Canada. The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn died in 1942. 

Prince Leopold the Duke of Albany, Queen Victoria's eighth child married Princess Helene-Friederike of Waldeck and Pyrmont in 1882. The marriage produced two children. The first of the two children was Princess Alice Mary Victoria Augusta Pauline of Albany was born in 1883. The second child was a son, Prince Leopold Charles Edward George Albert of Albany, who was born in July of 1884, which Prince Leopold did not live to see, as he had haemophilia and died at the age of 30 in March of 1884.  

Queen Victoria's last child, Princess Beatrice, married Prince Henry of Battenberg in 1885. The couple bore four children. The first to be born was Prince Alexander Albert of Battenberg in 1886. The second was Princess Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena of Battenberg in 1887, who became the Queen of Spain by marriage. The third child was Prince Leopold Arthur Louis of Battenberg in 1889, followed by the fourth and last child, Prince Maurice Victor Donald in 1891. Princess Beatrice died in 1944 at the age of 87.

In 1876, Queen Victoria was created Empress of India. Her Majesty celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1887 and her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. No other Monarch of the United Kingdom has lived or reigned to celebrate their Diamond Jubilee, except for Queen Elizabeth II, who is celebrating her's this year of 2012.  Queen Victoria had surpassed her grandfather, King George III as the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Victoria still holds this title today, but if her great-great granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is still reigning by 2015, she will have surpassed Queen Victoria as the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II is already the eldest reigning monarch in the history of Great Britain. (Queen Elizabeth is the great-granddaughter of King Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria, through his second son who became King George V, which was through his second son, who later became King George VI after his brother, King Edward VIII abdicated.) 

In 1901, after 63 years on the throne as Queen Regnant of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria passed away at the age of 81. Queen Victoria had a notorious reign, a golden age for the United Kingdom, which was named as the Victorian Era. Her legacy still lives on today, as she is still widely popular. Queen Victoria was nicknamed as the Grandmother of Europe, as her children and grandchildren married into other Royal and noble families across Europe. She truly was one of the greatest monarchs of the United Kingdom and will never be forgotten. Today, Queen Victoria lies beside her husband Albert, at Frogmore, Berkshire, England.  

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