First of all, did you know that she was the Queen of England from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. Then on 1 May 1876 she also became the Empress of India.
Some interesting facts:
- She married her first cousin, Prince Albert, in 1840 and when he died in 1861, she mourned him for the rest of her life. This is why in all the pictures we see, she is wearing black, except this one!
- A cheese, she was given as a wedding gift, weighed 80 stone and was made from the milk of 750 cows. It was publicly exhibited by the farmers who made it. However, when the exhibition was finished, she refused to take it back!
- As a little girl she was frightened of wigs. That was until the Bishop of Salisbury, wearing his wig, allowed her to play with his badge of Chancellor of the Order of the Garter.
- From the age of 13 she kept a dairy until she died. It actually ran to over 120 books! Unfortunately, after her death her daughter, Beatrice, decided to go through them to censor them, the result was that most were destroyed. I do wonder what was in them?
- She was the first Monarch to live in Buckingham Palace. That was until Prince Albert’s death, then she lost interest in it and spent most of her time away from it.
Things you may not know about Queen Victoria.
- She proposed to her husband, Prince Albert, and not vice versa, because as she was the queen, he could not propose to her.
- Victoria first met her future husband when she was 16. He was her first cousin, the son of her mother’s brother.
- Victoria enjoyed Albert’s company from the beginning, and with Leopold’s encouragement she proposed to Albert on October 15, 1839. This was only five days after he arrived at Windsor to visit the English court!
- They had a passionate marriage that produced nine children. Even though she was especially embittered by pregnancy and childbirth, calling it the “shadow-side of marriage.”
- She was raised by a single mother, and later became a single mother herself. Victoria was the only child of Edward, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George III.
- The future queen, in her childhood was isolated by her mother, who had been persuaded by the influence of her advisor, Sir John Conroy. This was to separate the young Victoria from her contemporaries, as well as her father’s family.
- Therefore, she relied on the advice of her beloved uncle Leopold and her governess, Louise (afterward the Baroness) Lehzen), a native of Coburg. When she became queen and moved to Buckingham Palace, Victoria exiled her mother to a distant set of apartments and fired Conroy.
- Queen Victoria was the first known carrier of haemophilia, an affliction that would become known as the “Royal disease.”
- As Victoria’s descendants married into royal families throughout Europe, the disease spread from Britain to the nobility of Germany, Russia and Spain.
- At least six serious assassination attempts were made against Victoria during her reign, most of which while she was riding in a carriage.
- In 1840, 18-year-old Edward Oxford fired two shots at the young queen’s carriage.
- Another would-be assassin, John Francis, made not one but two attempts to shoot the queen in her carriage in 1842.
- That same year, young John William Bean tried to fire a gun loaded with paper and tobacco at the queen.
- In 1849 and 1850 there were two attempts by:
- The “angry Irishman” William Hamilton
- An ex-Army officer Robert Pate, who hit the queen with his cane.
- Then in March 1882, a disgruntled Scottish poet named Roderick Maclean shot at Victoria with a pistol while her carriage was leaving the Windsor train station.
Your children can meet her in our show The Victorian Historian – A Journey to Victorian England just go to http://educationalmusicals.co.uk/product/the-victorian-historian-history-educational-musicals/ where you can read two pages of script and hear two of the songs. It is a musical with 12 specific songs that take the show along and in which no child has to learn more than five lines.
Let’s make history fun
Some other facts:
© Tony Dalton