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Today marks the Bicentenary of the Birth of Queen Victoria, who was born on this day in 1819. The only daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, fourth son of King George III, and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she the result of a match that had happened after the death of her cousin Princess Charlotte, which led her father and uncles to abandon their longtime mistresses and produce legitimate heirs to the Throne. After her father’s early death, she was raised very strictly by her mother at Kensington Palace, and succeeded to the Throne a few weeks after her 18th Birthday, in 1837. In 1840, Queen Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and the couple had nine children, though strategic marriages becoming the ancestors of most reigning former European Royals, making her the ‘Grandmother of Europe’. After the death of Prince Albert in 1861, she went into deep mourning for the rest of her life. Queen Victoria’s reign saw great industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change, known as the Victorian Era, as well as the expansion of the British Empire, which led to her becoming the Empress of India. She passed away in 1901, after a Reign of 63 years, the then longest Reigning British Monarch (until being surpassed by the current Queen in 2015).
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