Queen Victoria – Grandmother of Europe

As I look forward to the Victoria Day long weekend, my thoughts turn to the Queen that brought the British Empire into a new world order during a time of great change and uncertainty. Born on May 24, 1819, she came to the throne after the death of her uncle, King William IV, in 1837. As a young woman ascending to the throne, her future husband described her “as one whose extreme obstinacy was constantly at war with her good nature.”

The death of Queen Victoria on January 22, 1901, ended an era in which most of her British subjects knew no other monarch. Her 63-year reign, the longest in British history, saw the growth of an empire on which the sun never set. Victoria restored dignity to the English monarchy and ensured its survival as a ceremonial political institution. Her nine children and 26 of her 34 grandchildren who survived childhood, married into royal and noble families across the Europe.  She was truly the “grandmother of Europe.”

So what was Queen Victoria like? Her influence was so great that history has named an “age” after her: The Victorian Age. The only British queen to have that great power was Elizabeth in the Elizabethan Age. Perhaps the best way to sum it up is to look at what she said:

“The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.”
“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.”
“Being pregnant is an occupational hazard of being a wife.”
“I feel sure that no girl would go to the altar if she knew all.”

And my personal favourite:

“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.”

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A Visit to the V&A Museum

4 thoughts on “Queen Victoria – Grandmother of Europe

  1. Great article, love it. I wonder–will the present queen have a longer reign? I would hope so. I think she is equally great–she has been able to change with our present world and adapt to its changes., Probably as great a task as growing an empire. I think Queen Victoria would be proud of her.

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